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Australia pondering joining e-book lawsuit bandwagon

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If Apple and the Big Five thought they only had to contend with a federal e-book lawsuit in the US, they'd better think again. Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission is inviting local businesses to raise formal concerns as it weighs up launching its own judicial broadside against the alleged cartel. The Commission refused to comment publicly on its plans beyond saying that it was "aware of the latest developments" and would listen to local resellers who had concerns about the Australian market. While Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins made back-room deals with the DoJ yesterday, they'd still be involved (at least initially) with the second front of this conflict. Meanwhile, the threat remains of the European Union joining in: turning it from a spot of local trouble into a global courtroom battle for the future of e-book pricing.

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