Amazon.com customers are reporting to Top Class Actions that the company is sending emails informing them they may have credits coming to them for e-books they purchased between April 2010 and May 2012. The credits are part of a proposed $69 million class action lawsuit settlement with e-book publishers over alleged price-fixing of digital books.
The $69 million e-book class action lawsuit settlement, announced in August 2012, will resolve allegations that major book publishers conspired together to fix and drive up the price of e-books, and worked with Apple to break Amazon’s discount pricing strategy to help Apple’s iPad compete with Kindle’s lower prices.
A two-year investigation by the Department of Justice and two state Attorneys General uncovered the alleged e-book price-fixing conspiracy, which caused consumers to pay “tens of millions” of dollars more for e-books, according to the class action lawsuit.
The defendants deny these allegations but Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers and Simon & Schuster agreed to a class action lawsuit settlement to resolve the litigation. Apple and the remaining publishers, Penguin Group and MacMillan, have not yet settled.
If the e-book class action settlement is approved by the Court, Hachette will pay $31,711,425, HarperCollins will pay $19,575,246, and Simon & Schuster will pay $17,752,480.
Consumer refunds from the e-book class action lawsuit settlement will appear in their online accounts on iTunes, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Consumers who purchased their e-books through Google or Sony’s storefronts will receive a check.
According to the Amazon email notice of the e-book class action settlement, Amazon will contact customers when, and if, the credit is applied to their Amazon.com account if the Court approves the settlements in February 2013. The credits can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books. Credits will range from $0.30 to $1.32 for every eligible Kindle book Amazon customers purchased between April 2010 and May 2012.
Alternatively, Class Members may request a check in the amount of the credit by following the instructions included in the formal notice of the e-book price-fixing class action lawsuit settlement, found at www.eBooksAGSettlements.com.
UPDATE 1: Not an Amazon.com customer? You’re still entitled to benefits. Learn how you can receive a credit or cash refund from the E-Book Publisher Class Action Settlement.
UPDATE 2: Credits went out to Kindle and Nook customers from the e-book price fixing class action settlement starting March 24, 2014. Credits from other e-book retailers are expected to be distributed soon.
UPDATE 3: Apple Inc. announced June 16, 2014, that it had reached an undisclosed class action lawsuit settlement in the e-book antitrust litigation.
UPDATE 4: A federal judge preliminarily approved a $450 million Apple e-book class action settlement on Aug. 1, 2014. A Final Fairness Hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21, 2014.
UPDATE 5: On Nov. 21, 2014, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote granted final approval to the Apple e-book class action settlement.
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