Idahoans who bought electronic books from five of the largest U.S. book publishers between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012, are receiving notifications that they are entitled to refunds as part of a national settlement, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says.
In the September settlement, Hachette Book Group (USA), HarperCollins Publishers LLC, and Simon & Schuster Inc. agreed to pay a total of more than $69 million to consumers nationwide to resolve antitrust claims of an alleged unlawful conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books. Idaho consumers will receive up to $347,000.
This settlement helps consumers in two important ways, Attorney General Wasden said. First, it provides payments to Idaho consumers harmed by the publishers scheme to increase e-book prices. Second, the terms of the settlement should ensure competitive e-book prices, by requiring these publishers to change their business practices when pricing e-books.
E-book retailers have contacted their eligible customers by e-mail. These are legitimate e-mails authorized by the attorney general, but consumers should be wary of copycat scams. If you purchased e-books from Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo, you will receive a refund automatically; you are not required to file a claim. For purchases from all other retailers, you must submit a claim either online at www.EBookAGSettlements.com or request a form by calling (866) 621-4153.
Consumers will receive either a credit in their e-Book retailer account or a check. The precise amount consumers receive per qualifying e-Book purchase is not yet determined.
The lawsuit continues against Apple Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a MacMillan, and Penguin Group (U.S.A.) Inc. A trial is scheduled for June 2013.