A motion filed by Penguin to force consumers who bought e-books from Amazon or BN.com to settle any harm caused by Penguin’s alleged price-fixing of e-books has been denied through arbitration by Judge Denise Cote. The ruling pertains to the class action lawsuit brought against Penguin, four other publishers and Apple. Penguin argued that clauses in terms of use agreements at Amazon and BN.com call for any dispute of e-book purchases to be settled by arbitration.

Among the findings in her 12-page order is that plaintiffs' lawyers have already spent $45,000 evaluating the claims and drafting the complaint. It would be “economically irrational” for a plaintiff to pursue individual arbitration since, Cote noted, he or she could expect at most a median recovery of $540 in treble damages, yet face several hundred thousand dollars to millions of dollars in expert expenses alone.

In other news, the Attorney General offices of Texas and Connecticut submitted a letter to Judge Cote that they request an order for a bench trial for their case, the State of Texas et al. v. Penguin Group Inc. et al. to run concurrently with United States v. Apple et al. However, the plaintiff states reserve the right to a jury trial on damages.