Proposed E-Book Publisher Settlement Could See Customers Receiving Up to $3 Per Book Purchased

iBooks.pngWhile Apple has been found guilty of conspiring to fix e-book prices as it sought to launch its iBookstore alongside the iPad in early 2010, five publishers involved in the case have already agreed to settle the cases brought against them by state attorneys general and other class-action plaintiffs.

Among the publishers, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster had previously received court approval for their settlement agreements, and Macmillan and Penguin settlements are now proceeding through the approval phase. Customers who purchased Macmillan or Penguin e-books are now receiving emails informing them about the proposed settlement and their rights and responsibilities with respect to the agreement.

Under the proposal, the Macmillan and Penguin settlement funds would be combined with previous amounts committed by the other publishers, yielding a total fund of $162.25 million to be paid out to consumers who purchased e-books between the iBookstore's April 1, 2010 launch and May 21, 2012.

While the exact amount of reimbursement customers will receive depends on how many end up being included in the program, current estimates suggest that customers could be reimbursed $3.06 for each purchase of an e-book that appeared on the New York Times bestseller list at any point, and $0.73 per non-bestseller book.

The amount of your credit or check will be affected by how many qualifying E-books you purchased. There will be two levels of payments, based on categories of E-books. While the exact amount to be paid per E-book in each category is not yet finalized, the best estimates of payments for each E-book you purchased, based on the Plaintiffs proposed plan for a combined fund, are as follows:

- New York Times bestsellers: $3.06 per E-book. These include titles that were New York Times bestsellers at any time, irrespective of when you purchased the E-book.

- Non-New York Times bestsellers: $.73 per E-book. These E-books include any titles that were not New York Times bestsellers.

Residents of Minnesota will receive a different, higher amount per book because they were not included in the first round of settlements.

Reimbursement methods will also vary based on where e-books were purchased, with Amazon customers receiving automatic account credit while Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo users will have to activate their account credits, or they may request reimbursement by check. Consumers have until October 21 to object to or exclude themselves from the proposed settlement, and a hearing will be held on December 6 to consider approval.

While penalties in the case against Apple have yet to be assessed and Apple has vowed to appeal the verdict, estimates have suggested that Apple could owe as much as $500 million for its role in pushing book publishers to move to an agency model that resulted in higher prices for consumers.

Top Rated Comments

theheadguy Avatar
106 months ago
Hilarious! It seems like the majority of the people on here were hating the DOJ for proposing ANY kind of punishment or settlement. Now that people might see their own pockets lined with some refunds, haters magically turn into lovers!

It's more interesting from a psychological perspective to see people who still feel bad for Apple and would only be content if there was an Apple legal defense fund they could willingly donate to ;)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BC2009 Avatar
106 months ago
5 Publishers who received 70% of revenue from e-Books across multiple marketplaces (Kindle, Nook, iBookstore) in total owe $162M.

1 Ecosystem Provider (Apple) that received 30% of the e-Books revenue on a single distant-second marketplace may owe $500M.

Hmm..... something about this math does not work.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bsolar Avatar
106 months ago
I think this whole situation amounts to a perverse interpretation of "anti-trust" laws. In punishing Apple and the publishers for "colluding," the DOJ is rewarding Amazon for its efforts to create a monopoly. :mad:
If Apple wants to compete with Amazon there are legal options, but Apple did not want to make the investment to enter the ebooks market competing on price. Another competitor doing great is no excuse to break the law.

And what does "colluding" in this sense really mean? The publishers offered ebooks at a price well below the price of the printed version. Cost of production and distribution aside, authors and publishers are entitled to make money for their work. There is no "e-book" in "free," or some such pun. ;)

Authors and publishers were making more money with the wholesale model. The publishers actually decided to go with Apple's agency model knowing perfectly well that they would have less revenue, even with higher consumer prices.

With respect to the refunds, nobody forced consumers to buy them at the set price -- and who is the DOJ to determine what is the fair price? We know that the price Amazon set was intended as a loss-leader to sell more Kindles. So that price is fiction and should not be the basis for anything.

You have it backwards: Amazon does not make money selling Kindles, it actually makes money selling the content, kinda like a gaming console makes money selling games and not selling the console itself.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mac 2005 Avatar
106 months ago
I think this whole situation amounts to a perverse interpretation of "anti-trust" laws. In punishing Apple and the publishers for "colluding," the DOJ is rewarding Amazon for its efforts to create a monopoly. :mad:

And what does "colluding" in this sense really mean? The publishers offered ebooks at a price well below the price of the printed version. Cost of production and distribution aside, authors and publishers are entitled to make money for their work. There is no "e-book" in "free," or some such pun. ;)

With respect to the refunds, nobody forced consumers to buy them at the set price -- and who is the DOJ to determine what is the fair price? We know that the price Amazon set was intended as a loss-leader to sell more Kindles. So that price is fiction and should not be the basis for anything.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbeagle Avatar
106 months ago
Hilarious! It seems like the majority of the people on here were hating the DOJ for proposing ANY kind of punishment or settlement. Now that people might see their own pockets lined with some refunds, haters magically turn into lovers!
I'm actually against any class-action lawsuits like this (against any company). $3 is ridiculous. If something like a car breaks, and requires $700 part, it's fine to have a class-action lawsuit to get that money back, but $3? This was just made so lawyers could get their cut.

I'm also against this settlement. How does it make any sense at all?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
schmidm77 Avatar
106 months ago
I think worrying about how much I was "overcharged" for an ebook is missing the point, because I paid what I was willing to pay, for the price advertised; and I would again.

A lot of people don't realize that antitrust law is not about giving consumers a better price, but is about protecting competitors from anticompetitive behavior. It just happens to be the case that competition tends to, but not always, result in lower prices. I don't know that what Apple and the publishers did actually hurt competition.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
maxresdefault

Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak Discuss iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, Privacy, Shortcuts on Mac, and More

Saturday June 12, 2021 6:12 am PDT by
As is tradition, Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber in an episode of The Talk Show to discuss several announcements that Apple made over this weeks WWDC, including iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and a large focus around privacy. Federighi kicks off the conversation discussing the common architecture, now thanks to Apple silicon, across all of...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
adobe photoshop sketch ipad

Adobe Removing Photoshop Sketch and Illustrator Draw From App Store in July

Saturday June 26, 2021 4:02 pm PDT by
Adobe this week reminded customers that its Photoshop Sketch and Illustrator Draw apps will no longer be available for download on iOS and Android starting July 19. Adobe plans to stop supporting the apps for existing users on January 10, 2022. In a support document, Adobe said users can easily migrate to its Fresco app, which combines many Photoshop Sketch and Illustrator Draw drawing and...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
homepod feature blue2

Looking to Grab a HomePod Before They're Gone? These Retailers Still Have Stock

Monday March 15, 2021 6:54 am PDT by
Apple last week discontinued the original HomePod, marking just over three years on the market for the full-size smart speaker. If you're looking to purchase the larger HomePod before it's completely gone, there are still some options online today. The biggest retailer with remaining stock on the HomePod is Apple itself, which has the White HomePod for $299.00 on its website. Space Gray is...
september 2021 event ar logo

Apple's September 14 Event Page Features AR Logo on iPhone

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:23 am PDT by
Apple this morning announced a digital-only event that will be held on Tuesday, September 14, and if you view the event webpage on an iPhone, you can tap on the logo to open up Apple's Safari AR viewer and you'll see the three-dimensional logo move in real-time in the real world. Just open up the event site on an ‌iPhone‌ or iPad and tap right on the logo to open up the AR version. The...
iphone 11 night mode photos

Apple Reveals New Night Mode Photo Feature Exclusive to iPhone 11 Series

Tuesday September 10, 2019 12:23 pm PDT by
Apple today announced the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Max, all-new models that boast improved cameras, and specifically, a dramatic new Night Mode photo feature. Last year, Google introduced its impressive Night Sight camera mode, a software-based feature that allows users to take detailed pictures in dark environments using Google Pixel smartphones. Apple's new Night...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...