Official details on the e-book price-fixing class action settlement we’ve been reporting on have arrived. If you purchased an e-book published by Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster or one of their divisions between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012, you may be eligible to receive a refund credit or check from the e-book class action lawsuit settlement.
The e-book settlement will resolve a class action antitrust lawsuit filed by Attorneys General of 49 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories and commonwealths accusing the nation’s top publishers of conspiring to fix and raise the retail prices of digital books.
Residents of Minnesota are not eligible to participate in the e-book class action settlement because the Minnesota AG chose not to participate.
All five publishers deny the allegations, but Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC and Simon & Schuster Inc. have agreed to establish a $69.04 million class action lawsuit settlement to resolve the litigation.
The remaining defendants, Penguin and Macmillan, have not settled. A separate lawsuit against these companies and Apple continues and is set for trial in 2013. Your rights against the non-settling publishers and Apple in the separate lawsuit are not affected by any action you take in these settlements.
Depending on which retailer(s) you bought e-books from, you may be eligible to receive a credit to your e-book account, or a check in the mail, without having to file a Claim Form. If you have not received an email, you may still proceed with the claim process to request a payment by check.
The amount of your credit or check will be affected by how many qualifying e-books you purchased. There will be two levels of payments, based on categories of books. While the exact amount to be paid per e-book in each category is not yet finalized, the best estimates of payments for each e-book you purchased are as follows:
— New York Times bestsellers: $1.32 per e-book. These include titles that were New York Times bestsellers at any time during the claim period.
— Non-New York Times bestsellers titles: $0.30 per e-book. These e-books include any titles that were not New York Times bestsellers during the claim period.
What you must do to get a payment from the e-book Attorneys General class action lawsuit settlement depends on the retailer(s) through which you bought qualifying e-books:
E-book purchases through Amazon: You received or will receive an email notice from Amazon. You will receive a credit in your account automatically if the Court approves the Settlements. You have the option of receiving a check if you do not want to receive an automatic credit in your account. (You can read more about the Amazon refund notice here.)
E-book purchases through Barnes & Noble, Apple or Kobo: You received or will receive an email or postcard notice from the retailer or the Claims Administrator. If the Court approves the Settlements, you will receive another email letting you know that an account credit is available for you to activate. You have the option of receiving a check if you do not want to receive a credit in your account.
To request a check instead of a credit click HERE.
E-book purchases through Sony or Google: You received or will receive an email or postcard notice from the retailer or the Claims Administrator. You must file a Claim Form, and on the Claim Form you must enter your Settlement ID number provided in the initial email or postcard in order to request a payment. You will not have to detail your purchases on the Claim Form. If the Court approves the Settlements, your payment amount will be calculated and a check will be mailed to you. You can complete a Claim Form online or, you may complete and mail a hard copy Claim Form. Claim Forms must be filed online or postmarked by December 12, 2012.
E-book purchases through any other retailer not named above: You must file a Claim Form detailing your purchases, in order to receive a check. You can complete a Claim Form online or, you may complete and mail a hard copy Claim Form. Claim Forms must be filed online or postmarked by December 12, 2012.
Claim Forms and more information on your rights in the E-Book AG Class Action Lawsuit Settlement can be found at www.eBooksAGSettlements.com.
UPDATE 1: The remaining two publisher defendants — Macmillan and Penguin — have agreed to settle their portion of the case. See how to file a claim for the Penguin/Macmillan E-Book Class Action Settlement to claim your refund before the October 21, 2013 deadline.
UPDATE 2: Apple Inc. announced June 16, 2014, that it had reached an undisclosed class action lawsuit settlement in the e-book antitrust litigation.
UPDATE 3: 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.
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