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Amazon Prepares Customers for eBook Lawsuit Payout

Amazon has contacted eligible eBook customers, telling them that they could receive digital credit if the state settlements struck by Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster are upheld next year.

The email reminded readers that Amazon was not a party in the lawsuit filed by 55 state attorneys general, but noted that “the settlements impose limitations on the publishers’ ability to set e-book prices. We think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future.” Citing estimates from state attorneys general,  Amazon said eligible customers could get back between $0.30 to $1.32 for digital books they bought under the agency agreement.

We’ve included a complete copy of the email below. Here’s more from Amazon: “A hearing on the settlements will be held on February 8, 2013. When the Attorneys General notify us that the settlements are final, we will automatically apply the credit to the accounts of eligible customers and send another email notifying them that the credit is available.”

Amazon’s eBook Pricing Settlement Email Sent on October 13, 2012

Dear Kindle Customer,

We have good news. You are entitled to a credit for some of your past e-book purchases as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states and territories, including yours. You do not need to do anything to receive this credit. We will contact you when the credit is applied to your Amazon.com account if the Court approves the settlements in February 2013.

Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster have settled an antitrust lawsuit about e-book prices. Under the proposed settlements, the publishers will provide funds for a credit that will be applied directly to your Amazon.com account. If the Court approves the settlements, the account credit will appear automatically and can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books. While we will not know the amount of your credit until the Court approves the settlements, the Attorneys General estimate that it will range from $0.30 to $1.32 for every eligible Kindle book that you purchased between April 2010 and May 2012. Alternatively, you may request a check in the amount of your credit by following the instructions included in the formal notice of the settlements, set forth below. You can learn more about the settlements here:
www.amazon.com/help/agencyebooksettlements

In addition to the account credit, the settlements impose limitations on the publishers’ ability to set e-book prices. We think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future.

Thank you for being a Kindle customer.

The Amazon Kindle Team

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