Amazon and Other Book Retailers Issuing Refunds in E-Book Publisher Settlement

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Amazon today notified customers they are eligible for a refund for books they purchased through the Kindle book store. The refunds were paid by publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin as part of a settlement agreement in ebook price-fixing lawsuits filed by State Attorney Generals and other class-action plaintiffs.

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    Amazon issued the settlement refund in the form of a Kindle book store credit that is automatically applied to a customer's Amazon account. The credit is valid for one year and must be redeemed before 03/31/2015.
    Select book sellers like Barnes & Noble and Sony are expected to begin issuing similar credits today, with postcard checks from other booksellers being sent via mail to consumers starting March 27, 2014. You can find information on book retailers and their refund payment methods on the e-book settlement web site.

    Apple also was included in the antitrust lawsuits, but refused to settle. After being found guilty in federal court of conspiring to artificially inflate e-book prices, Apple was barred from entering into anticompetitive deals with content providers and must submit to court-appointed compliance monitoring. The Cupertino company also could owe as much as $500 million in damages, which are yet to be assessed.

    Apple recently appealed the verdict, calling the plan a "draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple's business, wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm."

    Article Link: Amazon and Other Book Retailers Issuing Refunds in E-Book Publisher Settlement
     
  2. macrumors 6502

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  3. macrumors 6502a

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    So let me get this straight. People VOLUNTARILY purchase an eBook, under THEIR OWN FREE WILL, and somehow they're aggrieved and entitled to compensation. Interesting.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    SpyderBite

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    Amazon and Other Book Retailers Issuing Refunds in E-Book Publisher Settlement

    Haven't gotten an email yet. Purchased at least twenty eBooks via Amazon in the past 5 years. No credit on my account either. Hrrrm.

    Edit: Never mind. It was in my spam folder. :p
     
  5. macrumors regular

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  6. BaldiMac, Mar 25, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014

    macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    An in store credit? Amazon benefits from the DOJ again!
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    FakeWozniak

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    #7
    I really don't care how much your refund is, unless, of course, you are sharing it with me. :)
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    NightFox

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    #8
    Are Amazon only obliged to do this for US customers, or will it apply world-wide?
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    Cuban Missles

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    #9
    I still do not see what Apple did that was wrong. Why is their business model acceptable for music and apps, but not for books? I am sorry to keep harping on this, but I have not seen a satisfactory answer to my simple question. Apple says, "charge what you will like, we take 30%." In theory, the book company could give the books away and Apple would get nothing like in the app store. And in the music store where you are limited to what you can charge, that would seem worse that what is going on with the books. So why is apple guilty and of what? The penalty does not matter they could pay $1b fine and not notice it, but what does matter is the principle as this could be a very slippery slope.
     
  10. macrumors G5

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    #10
    Clearly you don't understand the ramifications of the situation.

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    Because their model isn't what was in question - it's how they went about their "deal" making with the publishers.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

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    Not aggrieved, but will spend the money anyway.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

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    Exactly. They'll issue $1M in "refunds" and gain 1.5M in sales as a result. Way to go, DOJ. You really showed them! :rolleyes:
     
  13. macrumors G5

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    Well first - you can only use credits for ebooks - not merch.

    Second - The money is being provided by the publishers "The credit results from legal settlements reached with publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of eBooks."

    So how is Amazon really profiteering any more than Apple and other etailers of books?

    Oh - except Apple hasn't reach a final settlement yet because they fought it in court. But eventually - they will issue credits as well and it will be no different.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    oldhifi

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  15. macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    Exactly in the way he specified. They had the vast majority of book sales in the time period, so they will receive the vast majority of the benefit from the store credits and the additional related purchases. In addition, they also received the excess profits as a result of the alleged price fixing through no fault of their own.

    No different? I'm not sure you can see the future that well.
     
  16. macrumors 68020

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  17. macrumors 6502a

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    That's what you get with independent publishers!
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Is there an argument with that somewhere or is it just a meaningless statement?


    That's fair and voluntary for ya.


    Hmm... Let's see. Did Apple force anyone to buy those books? Did they in any way coerce anyone, at any point to purchase something that they were offering? And by what measure did they overpay? You would have only paid $10 but they paid $12 so they overpaid? I'm a little confused over where the evil swindling happened.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Read the New Yorker article and you'll see how terrible this case is

    http://m.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/02/17/140217fa_fact_packer?currentPage=all
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    Parasprite

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    #20
    I bought an ebook code off Amazon for another site... oh well I still saved ~$20-40 on it...
     
  21. samcraig, Mar 25, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014

    macrumors G5

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    #21
    ETA: Ignore the analogy below...

    Ok - so if the city you live in has a natural disaster and there are stores open who decide to charge you $500 for a cup of water. You don't HAVE to buy a cup of water, right? So not only shouldn't you buy it - but if you did because you know - you wanted to survive, you certainly shouldn't be entitled to restitution when that store is found guilty of gouging customers? Do I have that right?
     
  22. macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    #22
    What a ridiculous analogy. Price gouging has nothing to do with the conversation.
     
  23. macrumors G5

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    #23
    You're right. We're talking about collusion. And I should have picked a 1:1 scenario and am now guilty of having a terrible analogy on here like so many ;)

    A different scenario. That being said - I think it's completely legitimate, as a consumer, to be given a refund on books that were purchased where it has been determined that the price would have been different had collusion not taken place.

    And I say collusion because that's what was legally found. I am not commenting on whether or not they actually colluded.
     
  24. macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    #24
    I agree completely. I just think that this in store credit thing benefits Amazon more than consumers.
     
  25. macrumors G5

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    #25
    And in hindsight - I see how Amazon does benefit. Not sure I would say more than consumers. I think both Amazon and customers are getting a nice "windfall." Customers had already spent that money - so this is "free" money coming back to them. Amazon benefits by any purchases that exceed the credit. Since Amazon sells many books below cost, it's not like they are making a ton off of the credits. Especially since these credits are for books only. The publishers are actually making out decently because of increased sales.

    Now - interestingly enough - these credits expire 1 year from now. So does Amazon keep the money that was given to them? Are they only able to collect on credits that were spent. I would think that via auditing, Amazon is only going to receive a check from the publishers equal to the credit that was spent.
     

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