Feeds

Affected by ebook price-fixing? Amazon has a few shiny pennies for you

Publishers' settlement cash will go to customers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Amazon has gleefully started contacting US ebook customers about the funds they're entitled to claim after three publishers settled price-fixing lawsuits.

The Kindle-maker told customers that they'd be getting partial refunds of $0.30 to $1.32 for each eligible ebook bought between April 2010 and May 2012.

Ebooks will be eligible if they were published by Hachette, Simon & Schuster or HarperCollins, the three publishers that settled the case, leaving Apple, Penguin and Macmillan still fighting on.

"We have good news," Amazon crowed. "You are entitled to a credit for some of your past e-book purchases as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most US states and territories, including yours."

The refunds aren't really going to cover the difference between a lot of the books' prices and the amount customers would have paid if Amazon was pricing them, but the affected punters should be in line for a few cents an ebook - providing the settlements get approved next February. The etailer said it would shove the compensation into folks' Amazon accounts or they could request a cheque.

"In addition to the account credit, the settlements impose limitations on the publishers' ability to set e-book prices," Amazon gloated. "We think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future."

Antitrust cases against Apple and the five publishers have included class action lawsuits and regulator clashes both in the US and in Europe. At issue were Apple's agency contracts, which allowed publishers to set the prices while the fruity firm took a percentage cut. Before Apple got into ebooks, the tomes were sold like the paper version, bought from the publisher at cost and then sold for whatever the seller wanted.

Since Amazon was selling the ebooks at cost or lower to gobble up market share, the publishers pounced on the agency contracts and made them the norm for ebooks. This would have been fine – the issue at hand is the allegation that some of the vendors colluded with each other on what the ebooks' new prices should be. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.