eBook Publishers To Start Paying Kindle Customers For Improper Overcharging

October 15, 2012
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Kindle customers will be receiving a credit for some their e-book purchases next year, as a result of settlements between major publishers and a coalition of Attorneys General, including Connecticut’s.

“Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon and Schuster have settled an antitrust lawsuit on e-book prices that was brought by state and territorial Attorneys General,” Amazon explained in an email to Kindle customers.”

“Under the proposed settlements, the publishers will provide funds for a credit that will be applied directly to your Amazon.com account,” it said. “If the Court approves the settlements, the account credit will appear automatically and can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books.”

Amazon wrote to its customers this past weekend saying it would give credits ranging from $0.30 to $1.32 for all eligible Kindle e-books purchased between April 2010 and May 2012.

The three publishers agreed to pay more than $69 million to consumers to resolve antitrust claims of an allegedly unlawful conspiracy to fix the prices of e-books, according to a release from the Tennessee Attorney General’s office.

The following is a portion of the email customers received from Amazon:

Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster have settled an antitrust lawsuit about e-book prices.

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. Alternatively, you may request a check in the amount of your credit by following the instructions included in the formal notice of the settlements, set forth below.

You can learn more about the settlements here: www.amazon.com/help/agencyebooksettlements

Connecticut Atty. General George Jepsen sent the following statement Tuesday:

Attorney General George Jepsen today advised Connecticut residents who may have purchased certain eBooks that the notice process is underway in a $69 million national settlement with publishers announced earlier this year. Approximately $1.3 million of the settlement will be allotted to Connecticut consumers.

“This settlement helps consumers who were overcharged get back some money for their past purchases,” said Attorney General Jepsen, “and to ensure competitive eBook prices in possible future purchases.”

Over the past few days, consumers affected by the settlement should have received emails from the retailers where they purchased their eBooks.

Consumers who purchased eBooks through Apple or Sony will have received emails showing the sender as “State Attorneys General E-book Settlement,” with the email address Administrator@vertismail.com. These are legitimate emails authorized by the Attorney General.

Additional information about the settlement and the credits can be found at www.EBookAGSettlements.com or by calling toll-free 866-621-4153 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central, Monday through Friday.

Consumers who bought one or more qualifying eBook from April 1, 2010, through May 21, 2012, and who follow the instructions in their notices will receive a credit into their eBook retailer account or a check. Distribution of checks and/or credits varies among eBook retailers. There will now be two levels of payments, one for eligible New York Times bestsellers and a second for other eligible books. The exact amount to be paid per eBook in both categories is not yet finalized.

In the September settlement, Hachette Book Group (USA), HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., and Simon & Schuster Inc. agreed to pay a total of more than $69 million to consumers to resolve antitrust claims of an alleged unlawful conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books. The publishers have also agreed to change the way they price eBooks going forward.

Litigation continues against Apple, Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers L.L.C. d/b/a MacMillian and Penguin Group (U.S.A.), Inc. A trial is currently scheduled for June 2013.

Assistant Attorneys General Joseph Nielsen, Gary Becker and Kirsten Rigney, Paralegal Holly MacDonald and Assistant Attorney General Michael Cole, chief of the Antitrust and Fraud Department, are assisting the Attorney General in this matter.

Attorney General Jepsen serves as co-chair of the Antitrust Committee for the National Association of Attorneys General.

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One Response to eBook Publishers To Start Paying Kindle Customers For Improper Overcharging

  1. Marcia Mulhearn on August 28, 2013 at 2:46 am

    I bought Ebooks today cost $9.89 looked at my bank account and $42.56 taken from account this is fraud marcia

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