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Amazon Refunding Customers After Ebook Price Settlement

By - Source: Amazon Email | B 5 comments

Here comes the money.

Amazon sent out an email to customers on Saturday reporting that the first wave of refunds stemming from the ebook price fixing fiasco are on the way. Customers won't need to submit anything, and will be contacted once the refund credit is applied to their account. However this isn't expected to happen until the Court approves the settlements in February 2013.

"Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster have settled an antitrust lawsuit about e-book prices," the company reports. "Under the proposed settlements, the publishers will provide funds for a credit that will be applied directly to your Amazon.com account. If the Court approves the settlements, the account credit will appear automatically and can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books."

"While we will not know the amount of your credit until the Court approves the settlements, the Attorneys General estimate that it will range from $0.30 to $1.32 for every eligible Kindle book that you purchased between April 2010 and May 2012," Amazon adds. "Alternatively, you may request a check in the amount of your credit by following the instructions included in the formal notice of the settlements."

Outside the refund, the settlement impose limitations on the three publishers' ability to set e-book prices. Amazon offers more information about the settlements here, and the State Attorneys General E-book Settlements information depot can be located here.

The latter State Attorneys' website reports that the refunds will be pulled from a $69 million settlement fund. A lawsuit filed by the Justice Department in April 2012 claims that five book publishers (collectively, the "Agency Five" publishers including the three mentioned above) and Apple were involved in a conspiracy to fix and raise the retail price of e-books. As previously reported, these three settled with the Justice Department out-of-court in June while the other two – Penguin and Macmillan – would fight the complaint alongside Apple.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said on August 29 that he and 54 other attorneys general announced that they reached an antitrust settlement with the three publishers. All three agreed to pay more than $69 million, and to change the way they price eBooks going forward. Even more, this refund pool will compensate consumers who purchased eBooks from any of the Agency Five – including the two non-settling publishers Macmillan and Penguin.

"While publishers are entitled to their profits, consumers are equally entitled to a fair and open marketplace," said Attorney General Jepsen. "This settlement will provide restitution to those customers who were harmed by this price-fixing scheme, but it also will restore competition in the eBook market for consumers’ long-term benefit."

Payments will begin 30 days after the court approval of the settlement becomes final. Consumers in Connecticut are expected to receive up to $1,264,658 in total compensation, Jepsen said. The settling defendants will also pay approximately $7.5 million to the states for fees and costs.

 

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  • 7 Hide
    COLGeek , October 16, 2012 2:11 PM
    When it comes to books, I still prefer paper over pixels. No over billing issues there either....
  • 0 Hide
    skaz , October 16, 2012 2:21 PM
    Now if only they would get the keys in for the "Absolutely Great Square Pack"! =)
  • 3 Hide
    amdwilliam1985 , October 16, 2012 3:07 PM
    COLGeekWhen it comes to books, I still prefer paper over pixels. No over billing issues there either....


    In most cases I agree with you, but I like to read non-fiction novels too, books that I know I will only read once in my life and storage it up forever. This is perfect for something in the form of kindle e-reader.
    It provides extremely long battery life, very good in-door and out-door readability, light weight and fits into my jeans(yes it's a requirement when I buy 7" tablets, this includes kindle and Nexus 7, it has to fit into my pocket so I don't have to carry it on hands or getting a man-purse). And it's a perfect storage facility, all non-fiction novels at the touch of my finger-tip.
    Also I like amazon as a service, getting my mp3 and e-books from them. They provide you great services without charging you an arm or a leg.
  • Display all 5 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    gm0n3y , October 16, 2012 6:50 PM
    Now when are the other eBook sellers going to be held to the same standards? Kobobooks is still charging more than the price for the hard copy of a book in many cases. I'd say on average I've been paying around the same price as in stores. I'm not going to complain too hard though as I am still buying books from them. eBooks are just so much better than paper books.

    amdwilliam1985I like to read non-fiction novels too, books that I know I will only read once in my life and storage it up forever. This is perfect for something in the form of kindle e-reader.


    That's funny, I am exactly the opposite. Most of the time I'm never going to read a fiction book twice (unless it's exceptionally good). But I have often gone back to re-read non-fiction. I read Guns Germs and Steel for the 3rd time a couple of months ago, I've read an old Tesla biography a few times, some Christopher Hitchens, Michio Kaku, and many more. The only fiction that I can remember re-reading is LOTR, a couple of William Gibson novels and Neil Stephenson's Cryptonimicon. I find that I also end up flipping back and forth in non-fiction books much more often so they can be nice to have in hard copy (plus they are more likely to have maps which are hard to read on an eReader).

    The main reason that I ended up buying an eReader (and one for my wife) is because I started to run out of space to store books (apartment living FTL). I ended up donating the majority of my books to the local library.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 17, 2012 2:14 PM
    so why does the tone of the headline sound like Amazon is at fault here when it's Apple and the 5 publishers? should read "Publishers Refunding Customers After Joint-Apple Ebook Price Fixing Scam"
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