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

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.

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.
Good news! You are entitled to a credit of $27.55 for some of your past Kindle book purchases. 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.

You don't have to do anything to claim your credit, we have already added your credit to your Amazon account. We will automatically apply your available credit to your next purchase of a Kindle book or print book sold by Amazon.com, regardless of publisher. The credit applied to your purchase will appear in your order summary. If your account does not reflect this credit, please contact Amazon's customer service.

For more information about the settlements, please visit www.amazon.com/ebooksettlements

Your credit is valid for one year and will expire after 03/31/2015. If you have not used your credit, we will send you another email 90 days before it expires to remind you that it is still available.

Thanks for being a Kindle customer.

The Amazon Kindle Team
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
 

Z400Racer37

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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.
 

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
 

BaldiMac

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An in store credit? Amazon benefits from the DOJ again!
 
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FakeWozniak

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

2457282

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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.
 

samcraig

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Jun 22, 2009
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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.
Clearly you don't understand the ramifications of the situation.

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

samcraig

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Jun 22, 2009
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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:
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.
 

BaldiMac

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

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

Z400Racer37

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2011
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Clearly you don't understand the ramifications of the situation.

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


Not aggrieved, but will spend the money anyway.
That's fair and voluntary for ya.


They overpaid

Glad you aren't a lawyer

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Are you kidding?!

We know apple is evil and swindling consumers !!!!
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.
 

Updesh

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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
 

samcraig

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Jun 22, 2009
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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.
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?
 
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BaldiMac

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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?
What a ridiculous analogy. Price gouging has nothing to do with the conversation.
 

samcraig

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Jun 22, 2009
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What a ridiculous analogy. Price gouging has nothing to do with the conversation.
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.
 

BaldiMac

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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.
I agree completely. I just think that this in store credit thing benefits Amazon more than consumers.
 

samcraig

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Jun 22, 2009
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I agree completely. I just think that this in store credit thing benefits Amazon more than consumers.
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.