The judge in the ebook ‘price fixing’ case has set a date for the trial that will see Apple defend itself against the US government in an antitrust lawsuit. It will begin on 3 June 2013.

US District Judge Denise Cote said the trial will begin on 3 June 2013. Apple and two publishers are fighting the antitrust charges. The US department of justice accuses Apple and those publishers of conspiring to raise ebook prices in the iBookstore.

Apple claims that publishers were not happy with Amazon’s pricing tactics and wanted to set their own prices in the iBookstore. The company also claims that the US government has sided with monopoly rather than competition in bringing a case of ebook price-fixing against Apple.

The Department of Justice filed the antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five publishers, accusing the companies of working together to raise prices of ebooks, in retaliation for competitor pricing most ebooks at $9.99 beginning in late 2007. Three publishers have already settled.

Here in Europe, investigations have resulted in Apple offering to settle. European Union antitrust regulators began their investigation of Apple and various publishers back in December 2011.