Andrew AlbaneseIn the latest news on the e-book price-fixing case, consumers are slated to share in a pot of damages that will keep them reading and reading. In Denise Cote’s courtroom, though, it’s “read ‘em and weep” for Apple’s attorneys, as the judge’s rulings continue to confound them.

“Rust Consulting, the firm retained to administer the $166 million settlement fund, has confirmed that 23 million customers of Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google, and Sony have been directly noticed via e-mail or by postcard that they are eligible to participate in the settlement,”  Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly senior writer, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “Rust officials noted in their court records, too, that, thanks to retailer cooperation, this settlement will havean  unprecedented level of success in getting funds to consumers by simply automatically depositing them in their accounts.”

Remarkably, the news of the week in book publishing remains largely the story of this single court case, which finds Apple fighting to hold off the consequences of Judge Denise Cote’s recent ruling that it was liable for antitrust practices. She has even gone so far as to scold Apple for its “unrepentant” ways.

“This week, the judge denied Apple’s proposed 14-month schedule for its damages trial, and ordered the parties to finish discovery by the end of December, 2013. The trial is now on the calendar for May, 2014,” reports Albanese, author of the e-book bestseller, The Battle of $9.99: How Apple, Amazon, and the Big Six Publishers Changed the E-Book Business Overnight.

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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