The State AGs’ settlement is given preliminary approval (with Update from Amazon)
UPDATED: On October 13, 2012, Amazon sent out emails informing customers of their potential recovery under the settlement over price fixing brought by the States Attorneys General. The email informs consumers of their rights which is that they will be entitled to a refund of $0.25 – $1.32 per book and that they have the right to object to the settlement.
How much you will receive (so long as the settlement is approved) depends upon how many books you bought that qualify for a refund. First, the books must have been published by one of the settling publishers between April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012. The refund per purchase depends upon what categorization it falls under (and that will be determined by the publishers and the retailers, not you).
This is exactly what is supposed to be done per the proposed settlement which I detailed a month ago. There seemed to be a lot of confusion so I am reposting my breakdown of the settlement and what it means.
On September 13, 2012, Judge Cote issued a preliminary approval of the states’ proposed settlements. The proposed settlements involve every state and territory except for the state of Minnesota. I don’t know why Minnesota is not a signatory to the settlement. The total pool of the settlement is $69 million. Order in PDF is here.
- Hachette: $31.71 million
- HarperCollins: $19.58 million
- Simon & Schuster: $17.75 million
A fairness hearing is scheduled for February 8, 2013. The fairness hearing is to “consider the fairness, reasonableness and adequacy of the Settlements, the dismissal with prejudice of this action as to the Defendants, and the entry of final judgment.” All proceedings are stayed until the resolution of the settlement agreements. The timeline is as follows:
- Sept 13, 2012 – Preliminary Approval Order entered. Plaintiff States must disseminate to eligible consumers detail of the Plan and how to participate or opt out.
- Oct 13, 2012 – Notice period begins. Consumers have 60 days in which to exercise their right to object to the proposed Settlements.
- Dec 12, 2012 – Notice period ends.
- Dec 12, 2012 – This is the deadline for a consumer to alert the court that she opposes the settlement. The resistance to the settlement must be accompanied by a written statement that indicates the basis for the resistance to the settlement, the dismissal of the claims and/or entry of final judgment and any documentation in support of the opposition. A copy of this resistance must be filed with the Court and served upon the Claims Administrator at E-books AG Settlements Objections, PO Box 2825, Faribault, MN 55021-8630. (This can be anyone objecting to the settlement)
You are eligible if:
- You bought an ebook from one of the settling publishers between April 1, 2010 through May 21, 2012;
- You live in a US State, DC or the five US territories or commonwealths OTHER THAN Minnesota.
How will you receive your benefit?
- If you purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo or Apple, you will automatically receive a credit in your account. (At least one document indicates that you will be given the option to receive your refund in the form of a check). Consumers are identified by a unique settlement number provided by the crediting retailer and not by name to preserve customer privacy.
- If you purchased through Sony, you will automatically receive a check.
- If you purchased through Google, you will need to file a claim form and the settlement id number that will be emailed to you.
- For any other retailer, you must fill out a form AND provide proof of purchase.
How much will I get?
- (NYT Bestsellers) For each Ebook that was on the NYT list (Fiction, Non-Fiction and Advice), the refund will be $1.32 per book.
- (Frontlist) For each Ebook not on the NYT list, and was within one year of its initial publication, the refund is $0.36.
- (Backlist) For each Ebook not on the NYT list, and was sold more than one year following the initial publication, the distribution shall be $0.25.
- (Undetermined) If the Claims Administrator cannot determine whether the book is a frontlist or backlist title, then the distribution is $0.30.
Can I opt out?
Yes, each retailer should include how to opt out. You can opt out of settling with one publisher and not others.
- Opt out of Hachette settlement, the distribution will be reduced by 46%.
- Opt out of HarperCollins settlement, the distribution will be reduced by 28%.
- Opt out of Simon & Schuster settlement, the distribution will be reduced by 26%.