Customers will be receiving a $6.93 credit for each book that was a New York Times bestseller, and a $1.57 credit for other e-books. Customers eligible for credits include those who purchased e-books between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.
Attorneys say the process is uniquely simple for consumers -- credits will be automatically sent directly into the accounts of consumers at major book retailers, including Amazon.com Inc., Barnes & Noble Inc., Kobo Inc. and Apple. Retailers will issue emails and put the credits in the accounts simultaneously.The U.S. Department of Justice first accused Apple and five other publishers -- HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, and Penguin -- of colluding to fix the prices of e-books in 2010, suggesting they had worked to raise prices of e-books to weaken Amazon's dominant position in the market and restructure the business model of the industry.
If e-book purchasers requested a check in lieu of a credit, they will receive a check. If purchasers received a credit during the first round of distribution of publisher settlements, and they did not opt out, they will automatically receive a credit.
While all of the publishers settled early on, Apple fought the accusation for years and maintained its innocence, but ultimately, a ruling in 2013 found the company guilty of price fixing. A series of appeals were unsuccessful, and after the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, Apple was forced to pay a $450 million settlement.
$400 million of that $450 million is earmarked for customers who purchased e-books, with $30 million going towards legal fees and $20 million going to states who were also involved in the lawsuit.