People who purchased certain e-books from Amazon, Apple and other digital retailers will receive payouts estimated to range from 30 cents to $1.32 per title under a proposed price-fixing settlement between three book publishers and U.S. states.

The payouts will come from a $69 million fund established using settlement money from the publishers: Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. Under the proposed settlement,  will be made for books purchased between April 2010 through May 2012.

Amazon and Apple sent notices to customers over the weekend, with Apple noting in its message that it “has not been sued in this case” but “is assisting in providing this notice as a service to its customers.” That is technically true, but Apple is being sued along with other publishers in a separate, ongoing case over the same issues.

The suits allege that Apple and major book publishers illegally conspired to raise the retail price of e-books to combat Amazon’s attempts to lower prices.

In its message to customers, Amazon was decidedly more upbeat, starting off: “We have good news. You are entitled to a credit for some of your past ebook purchases as a result of legal settlements between several major ebook publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states and territories, including yours.”

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  • Guest

    Kudos to the big companies and the lawyers for finding a way to squeeze more money out of consumers, sharing it among each other and then giving us back a check that will cost us more in fees to cash than it’s worth.

    Gotta love big businesses and big class action lawsuits. Everyone wins on the backs of the consumers.

  • guest

    Apple will have a chance to outdo Amazon’s notice when they lose the bigger suit that’s still pending. They can say something like “We have the best news since, well, news…”. ;-)

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