eBook Settlement Could Mean Money for You

Connecticut residents who were overcharged for certain eBooks might be able to collect money because of a national settlement with three publishing companies.

A $69 million national settlement was reached with Hachette Book Group (USA), HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., and Simon & Schuster Inc. publishers in September.

Approximately $1.3 million of the settlement will be allotted to Connecticut buyers and the notice process is underway, according to Attorney General George Jepsen.

“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 eBooks. 

If you made an eBook purchase through Apple or Sony, you 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.

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 and the exact amount to be paid per eBook in both categories is not yet finalized.

The best estimates of payments for New York Times bestsellers is $1.32 per E-book, including titles that were New York Times bestsellers at any time during the claim period, according to the State Attorneys General E-book  Settlements Web site. https://ebooksagsettlements.com/FrequentlyAskedQuestions.aspx

The payment for non-New York Times bestsellers titles could be $0.30 per E-book. 

The agreement, Jepsen said, was 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. and a trial is scheduled for June 2013.

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

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