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Notices sent over $69M eBook settlement

By Bryan Cohen | Oct 16, 2012

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced on Tuesday that Connecticut residents who bought certain eBooks will soon receive notices related to a $69 million national settlement with publishers.

In September, Simon & Schuster Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC and Hachette Book Group agreed to pay more than $69 million to consumers to resolve antitrust claims. The companies allegedly engaged in an unlawful conspiracy to fix electronic book prices.

The three publishers agreed to change how they price eBooks in the future. Connecticut consumers will receive approximately $1.3 million from the settlement. A related trial is currently scheduled for June connected to continuing litigation against Penguin Group Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers .LC, doing business as MacMillan, and Apple Inc.

"This settlement helps consumers who were overcharged get back some money for their past purchases, and to ensure competitive eBook prices in possible future purchases," Jepsen said.

In the past few days, consumers affected by the settlement should have received emails from retailers where they bought their eBooks. Consumers who bought books through Sony or Apple will receive emails from the email address with the sender listed as State Attorneys General E-book Settlement. The emails are legitimate and are authorized by Jepsen.

Consumers who bought one or more qualifying eBooks between April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012, who follow instructions in the notices will receive a credit from their eBook retailer or a check. Credit and check distribution will vary among retailers. The two levels of payments includes one for eligible New York Times bestsellers and another for other eligible books. The specific amount to be paid per eBook in both categories is not yet determined.

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