If you ever purchased an e-book and felt you were paying too much, well, it turns out your feelings may have been completely justified.
As a result of settlements between a few major publishers and the Justice Department, Amazon Kindle customers may be able to collect a credit from their previous purchases of overpriced e-books. The deal was struck between Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster. The settlement still has to be approved by the court, but if that happens then Amazon customers will be receiving a partial refund on eligible e-books.
To clarify, Amazon was not involved in the lawsuit and is simply facilitating the refunds in cooperation with the publishing companies. The actual lawsuit pertained to allegations of fixed pricing being dictated by the three publishers listed above, two other publishing companies, and Apple.
Amazon has posted an FAQ on the subject, outlining how the refunds will be doled out. If the settlement deals are approved, publishers will be forced to provide a credit to customers. The credit will appear automatically in the accounts of eligible users and can be used to purchase more Kindle e-books or printed books. A check option will be offered as well if the customer would sooner have money over more reading material.
“We think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future,” Amazon said in support of the lawsuit.
Now to answer two pressing questions: How much money will be refunded and who is eligible to collect? According to Amazon, the credit will fall somewhere between $0.30 and $1.32 per item. You’re eligible for the credit if you have a U.S. billing address and purchased an e-book between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012. Additionally, the e-book must have been published by Hachette, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, or Macmillan. However, you’ll be deemed ineligible if you live in Minnesota (the Attorney General chose not to participate). You also won’t qualify if you returned your e-book or were refunded your money.
Be sure to check out the FAQ in more detail if you think you may be eligible for the refund. Amazon plans to send emails out to customers who qualify, but it’s always good to stay informed in case something goes wrong. We all know how easily an email can be lost in a spam folder. It’s worth keeping your eye on, especially if you’re an avid reader. When all is said and done you may get enough credit to add a few more books to your virtual library
Will you be benefiting from the e-book refund? Have you received an email from Amazon saying you qualify?