Amazon Issues Credits in Connection With Ebook Price Fixing Settlement

Posted on March 26, 2014

Amazon.com has begun distributing millions of dollars in credits yesterday. The credits are funded by the major book publishers who settled with the Department of Justice in the ebook price fixing case in which the DOJ alleged the existence a price fixing scheme between the publishers and Apple in which prices would be kept high for consumers. Amazon was not part of the suit -- it wanted to cut prices on ebooks, but was prevented by the publishers and Apple. The publishers settled the case, but Apple litigated and lost. Apple is now appealing. State attorneys general also were part of the settlement. Now $166 million in settlement funds has been collected and is being paid out to consumers who were overcharged for ebooks.

Amazon's email to customers said, "Good news! You are entitled to a credit of ___ for some of your past Kindle book purchases. The credit results from legal settlements reached with publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of eBooks.

You don't have to do anything to claim your credit, we have already added your credit to your Amazon account. We will automatically apply your available credit to your next purchase of a Kindle book or print book sold by Amazon.com, regardless of publisher. The credit applied to your purchase will appear in your order summary. If your account does not reflect this credit, please contact Amazon's customer service. For more information about the settlements, please visit www.amazon.com/ebooksettlements."

The Amazon.com credit can only be used for books and will expire after 03/31/2015. More money could be in the offing if Apple gets slammed on appeal and hit with a huge judgement. Most experts agree that Apple is going to lose this round, just like it lost at trial in front of Judge Denise Cote.



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