E-book Case Settlement Payments Roll Out to Customers

Posted by at 12:13 pm on March 25, 2014

amazonkindledx-lg2Electronic book buyers are receiving account credits from settlements reached with book publishers over electronic book price fixing. The credits apply to qualifying books purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo or Apple between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012. Amazon on Tuesday started the process of informing customers by email of credits, which will automatically be added to affected customers’ accounts.

“Under the settlements, the publishers have provided funds for credits that will be applied directly to Amazon.com accounts of eligible customers,” says Amazon in a FAQ posted to its website.

Amazon says customers earn $3.17 for every New York Times bestseller purchased during this time, and 73 cents for other books. Residents of Minnesota will earn a bit more for each book because their case was settled “on different terms with separate negotiations.” The settlements total $166 million.

“Companies engaging in such anticompetitive conduct will be punished—and starting today, those injured by their actions will start to receive full and fair compensation,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. New York is one of 33 states that alleged Apple and book publishers conspired to raise e-book prices.

In December, a judge approved settlements involving book publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin after a federal court ruled they conspired with Amazon rival Apple. In the lawsuit, the Justice Department claimed Apple conspired with book publishers to fix prices in order to thwart a discount initiative from Amazon.

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