|Millions of customers eligible for ‘unprecedented’ e-book refunds|
|Written by Jeremy Burns|
|Monday, 26 August 2013 09:14 AM EDT|
E-book buyers are about to receive their cut of a $166 million settlement that publishers have agreed to pay in the wake of a wide-ranging antitrust case settlement.
More than 20 million customer accounts of Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google and Sony are eligible for refunds stemming from the settlement in the federal case brought against Apple and the so-called “Big Five” publishers: Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins Publishers.
Rust Consulting, the firm in charge of administrating the settlement, issued a court statement that e-book retailers’ detailed record-keeping and automatic crediting will be able to offer an “unprecedented” rate of compensation for consumers affected by the alleged price-fixing conspiracy.
The lawsuit charged that Apple and the publishers colluded to artificially inflate prices of new and bestselling e-books in order to vie with Amazon in the competitive new market of digital books.
While the publishers had settled their cases rather than risking the potentially higher damages of a trial judgment, Apple chose not to settle and thus is not part of this payout. Earlier this month, Apple was found guilty of price-fixing charges. Apple and the Department of Justice head to court tomorrow, Aug. 27, for a hearing discussing their recommendations for the scope of U.S. District Judge Denise Cote’s injunction.