Settlements with Major Publishers Provide Money Back for E-book Purchases
The following is being issued by Kinsella Media, LLC, notice provider for the State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs’ E-book Settlements.
Settlements have been reached with publishers Macmillan and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the prices of electronic books (“E-books”). The lawsuits claim there was a conspiracy involving these two publishers and others to fix and raise retail prices of E-books. Previous Settlements were reached with Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster in 2012. A separate lawsuit with similar claims continues against Apple Inc.
If the Court approves the Settlements, Macmillan and Penguin will contribute $95 million into a Settlement Fund that will be distributed to eligible consumers. All of the above Settlements include agreements by the publishers to comply with antitrust laws and certain orders of the Court.
Residents of Minnesota, who were not included in the previous Settlements, are included in these Settlements. The Class Plaintiffs have also reached an additional Settlement on behalf of residents of Minnesota and publishers Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. A total of $3.9 million will be contributed by all five of the settling publishers to fund payments to Minnesota customers but they will be subject to different conditions than other consumers. Minnesota residents are encouraged to review information specific to these Settlements by using the Minnesota link at www.EbookAGSettlements.com.
Millions of consumers have begun receiving emails or postcards with information about their legal rights and options. Emails are being sent by some E-book retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, who are participating in the notification process as a courtesy to their customers. Consumers who purchased E-books through Apple or Sony will have received emails showing the sender as: “State Attorneys General and Class E-book Settlement,” Administrator@qgemail.com. These are legitimate emails authorized by the Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs.
People who bought E-books are included in the Settlements if: (1) they purchased an E-book that was published by Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan or Penguin (as well as certain other names – “imprints” – under which these publishers also publish E-books); (2) the purchase was made from April 1, 2010 through May 21, 2012; and (3) they were a resident of a) any U.S. State or Commonwealth, b) the District of Columbia, or c) one of five U.S. Territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa) at the time of purchase.
A full list of the publishers and imprints included is available at www.EbookAGSettlements.com.
If the Court approves the Settlements and the payment distribution plan, people who bought one or more qualifying E-books and who follow the instructions in their notices will receive a credit into their E-book retailer account or a check. Distribution of checks and/or credits varies among E-book retailers. There will be two levels of payments, based on categories of books. The exact amount to be paid per E-book in both categories is not yet finalized.
The email and postcard notices currently contain information about how consumers will receive their payment, and if they need to take any action to get it. Anyone who thinks they may be included but has not received notice should visit www.EbookAGSettlements.com or call 1-866-621-4153 to learn more about the Settlements and decide whether to file a Claim Form. Claim Forms must be filed online or postmarked by October 21, 2013 .
Those included in the Settlements have a number of legal rights and options. They should visit www.EbookAGSettlements.com or call 1-866-621-4153 to get a Detailed Notice and learn more.