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Amazon customers who bought e-books from the company between April 2010 and May 2012 have begun receiving credits from the company this week, informing them that it is their share of a $166 million antitrust settlement in a case that charged Amazon, Apple and five publishers with colluding to raise e-book prices.

According to the Wall Street Journalstory, "The civil antitrust lawsuit filed in April 2012 alleged that the five publishers and Apple conspired to raise e-book prices in a bid to stop Amazon.com Inc. from pricing digital best-sellers at $9.99. Publishers worried that the heavily discounted $9.99 price threatened the perceived value of physical books, particularly hardcovers. Numerous states later filed lawsuits seeking refunds for their residents."

Amazon has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing, and the credits it is issuing are from the involved publishers, which settled the case. Apple has not settled, however, and continues to fight the accusations in court.

The email sent to the Content Guy read, in part:

Good news! You are entitled to a credit of $16.56 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 … 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.


"Consumers will receive $3.17 for each New York Times best seller and 73 cents for all other titles," according to the Journal.
KC's View:
Nice to get some money from Amazon, instead of the other way around.