Feeds

What price justice? 73 CENTS in book price-gouging case

Amazon handing out credit now to burned book-buyers

Boost IT visibility and business value

Amazon has begun offering customers store credit on behalf of publishers who recently settled a price-fixing case.

The credit is being distributed to customers as part of a refund program under the terms of a US settlement agreed to by five major e-books publishers. Amazon noted that it was not part of the suit, but was merely facilitating refunds on purchases made through the service of eligible e-book titles.

In order to collect a credit, customers must have made an ebook purchase from one of the five publishers within the US between April 2010 and May 2012. Amazon has sent emails to all of its customers impacted by the settlement notifying them of credits which will automatically appear in their accounts.

The payouts, which range from $US0.73 cents on older books to as much as $3.17 per title on New York Times best-sellers, are part of a settlement the publishers agreed to with a collection of US Attorneys General over allegations of price fixing.

Those publishers, along with Apple, were accused of fixing prices by agreeing to a system which allowed publishers to set the retail price on titles and then pay a percentage of revenues to Apple.

The state attorneys had argued that the companies had colluded to artificially keep the prices of ebook titles high and keep costs up for competing publishers. In the process, the case had alleged, the publishers had taken control over the pricing model by setting their own price tags on books, rather than suggesting a price which the retailers themselves could choose and adjust as needed.

Under the terms of the settlement the five publishers were each able to clear the case without admitting to any wrongdoing and agreeing to more restrictive terms on their deals with publishers.

Apple has chosen to fight the case and, after losing an initial judgment, is appealing that decision. The case remains ongoing and no word on possible settlements or refunds for Apple ebook purchases is expected any time soon. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
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
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.