Amazon Customers Now Getting a Little Extra From the eBook Antitrust Settlement
If you bought an agency priced ebook from Amazon in 2010, 2011, or 2012 then you might be in for a payday.
A reader has tipped me to the news (and several people on Twitter have confirmed) that Amazon is now sending out emails to its Kindle customers. I don’t have one yet, but I’m told the emails read something like:
Good news! You are entitled to an additional credit of $42 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. This credit is in addition to the credit that you received from these settlements in March 2014.
The credit mentioned in the email comes from the restitution Apple agreed to pay for its role in fixing ebook prices in 2010.
Update: Or maybe not. Publishers Lunch is saying I am wrong. I probably am, but this email is real. I am currently seeking more information from Amazon.
Second Update: Yep, I flubbed this post. Amazon told me that this email has to do with additional refunds provided under the publisher’s settlement agreement, and not Apple’s settlement, and it is only going out to a limited number of customers.
According to the discussion on Amazon’s help forums, the credit is for books which had been reclassified from mid list to best seller. Customers who had bought the affectedbooks are getting an additional $2.44 per title.
If you haven’t gotten the email, you probably won’t be getting one. But if you did get an email then the credit then you should know that the credit is provided on a use it or lose it basis. It will expire in a year. You can find more info at Amazon.
image by Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon
verena July 23, 2015 um 4:47 pm
I got $9.76 in credit from Amazon today. I’ve managed to spend it already. There have been a slew of ebooks on my ereaderiq wishlist dropping in price over the last day or so, all down to $2.99 or $1.99.
Nate Hoffelder July 23, 2015 um 4:59 pm
Oh, the credit arrived today? I thought it was going to be delayed.
Anne July 23, 2015 um 5:06 pm
Amazon has sent emails but I didn’t see where it said anything that it had to do with the Apple settlement. It only mentions publishers. From my email-
Good news! You are entitled to an additional credit of $XX 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. This credit is in addition to the credit that you received from these settlements in March 2014.
Anne July 23, 2015 um 5:12 pm
Here’s more info-
$2.44 is the difference between the $3.17 credit for one NYT bestseller and the $.73 credit for a midlist book. One of your books was originally classified as a midlist title by its publisher but the court took a second look and awarded you the full bestseller credit.
I don’t know where that info came from other than here-
Nate Hoffelder July 23, 2015 um 7:18 pm
Thanks. This explains it.
George Naylor July 23, 2015 um 5:23 pm
$42 bucks? I only got $4.88. This time. Last time I got around $50 & my wife around $100. She only got $2 this time.
Going through my wishlist right now to spend the money.
Nate Hoffelder July 23, 2015 um 5:51 pm
42 is the answer to everything.
George Naylor July 23, 2015 um 5:53 pm
I’ve head that.
puzzled July 23, 2015 um 5:42 pm
And once again, Apple saves the US economy…
fjtorres July 23, 2015 um 6:19 pm
If Apple is paying up then they’re not appealing to SCOTUS.
Once the money is gone…
Frank July 24, 2015 um 9:43 am
Apple just made 50+ billion in profit last quarter, they can afford a half billion in payments.
fjtorres July 23, 2015 um 6:23 pm
Upon further reflection: there were two separate lawsuits.
One was DOJ vs Apple et al, which every body but Apple settled early.
Then there was a separate class action suit filed by the state AGs.
I think these emails relate to that second suit.
The Apple payout would be third payment, no?
Nate Hoffelder July 23, 2015 um 6:31 pm
The text in this email reads the same as the emails which referred to the settlements from which I got money. So I think this is Part Two: Apple.
Chris Meadows July 23, 2015 um 6:45 pm
No credit emails here. Not really a surprise. Back then I was buying e-books primarily through B&N. Will be interesting to see if/when they disburse.
fjtorres July 23, 2015 um 7:16 pm
I don’t expect any either. I haven’t bought anything from the Price Fixers in any firm since 2009. As soon as I heard what they were up to I stopped, cold turkey.
Don’t miss’em, either.
Nate Hoffelder July 23, 2015 um 7:18 pm
You were right. This does have to do with the older settlement.
Doug July 23, 2015 um 6:47 pm
With Sony, you automatically get a check directly from the settlement administrator. Sony isn’t involved. Which is a good thing, considering that they decided to pocket the credit balance that I had in my account when they shut down their ebookstore.
Nate Hoffelder July 23, 2015 um 6:57 pm
Tim Wilhoit July 23, 2015 um 7:19 pm
The credit is useable for the cost of the e-book but not the sales tax. This is the same as last year’s publisher settlement.
One question, why the additional amount from the publisher lawsuit? (Not that I’m complaining) Was last year’s credit misfigured? Additional funds came from somewhere?
Nate Hoffelder July 23, 2015 um 7:24 pm
As Anne explained up above, some of the titles have been reclassified from mid-list to best seller. The $2.44 is the difference, and it is only being paid to people who had bought the specific titles.
Tim Wilhoit July 23, 2015 um 7:25 pm
Never mind, I just noticed Anne’s link and on that thread, PF commented:
"$2.44 is the difference between the $3.17 credit for one NYT bestseller and the $.73 credit for a midlist book. One of your books was originally classified as a midlist title by its publisher but the court took a second look and awarded you the full bestseller credit." That sounds plausible.
Tim Wilhoit July 23, 2015 um 7:34 pm
Tablet keyboards slow the typing speed just a tad. Good link from Anne.
Anne July 23, 2015 um 10:51 pm
If/when Apple does payout, I think credits to the eligible consumers are going to be a lot higher than the amounts mentioned so far. According to this page-
under the question- What does the Apple settlement provide-
If it’s the $400 million figure, NYT bestsellers will result in a credit of $6.05 to $6.34 for each book and a credit of $1.39 to $1.50 for the midlisters.
Mary July 24, 2015 um 9:20 am
If the Apple settlement truly works out that way, I should do well. In the first Amazon payment I got around $78 and in the one yesterday $14.64 so a total of 6 books had been miscalculated as mid-list. In regard to the one year time limit to spend it, does anyone seriously think people will go a year without buying books? $9.99 of my credit yesterday is already gone.
TeleRead Links: Amazon profits, disburses more anti-trust credit, helps publishers; bookstore turns hostel in Tokyo; and more – TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics July 24, 2015 um 7:55 am
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