An announcement came in our emails today and in Amazon's Kindle Forum late last night (Friday, Aug 30, by David A., Forum Moderator), but some don't always see their emails and most don't know about the Kindle Forum, so I'm quoting the info, as written, here (emphases via italics are mine), as their announcements are meant for wider circulation.
' Last fall we notified eligible Kindle customers that they may be entitled to a credit for some of their past Kindle book purchases as a result of legal settlements between several major book publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states and territories. Since then, two more publishers have settled and these new settlements have increased the amount of the credits customers will receive.
Eligible customers will not need to do anything to receive this credit. If the Court approves the settlements in December 2013 and there is no appeal, a credit will appear automatically in eligible customers' Amazon.com accounts that can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books.
We will notify eligible customers when the credit is applied to these accounts. While we will not know the amount of each customer's credit until the Court approves the settlements, it is estimated that it will range from $0.73 to $3.82 for every eligible Kindle book that was purchased. To be eligible, customers must have a U.S. billing address and must have purchased a Kindle book published by Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin or Macmillan between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.
These publishers will provide the funds for the settlement. You can learn more about the settlements at http://www.amazon.com/help/agencyebooksettlements.
We think these settlements are a big win for readers because they will return over $165 million directly to customers and they also impose limitations on publishers' ability to raise eBook prices.
Thanks for being a Kindle customer. '
And this is before any settlement related to the DoJ-Apple case and Judge Denise Cote's 'remedies' to be announced this coming week, as well as whatever happens in connection with Apple's responsibilities with regard to the several antitrust lawsuits brought by a coalition of state Attorneys General and by a Plaintiff Class.
The July 10, 2013 Wall Street Journal article (written by Chad Bray, Joe Palazzolo and Ian Sherr, with contributions from Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg and Jacob Gershman) reported on federal judge Denise Cote's ruling that Apple had colluded with five major U.S. publishers to drive up the prices of e-books.
The WSJ report explains that, "As a result of the ruling, Apple is exposed to "as-yet undetermined damages and opens the door for the Justice Department to take a closer look at its other business lines."
The DOJ's proposed remedies, including their revised proposal about a week ago, are likely to be met by a somewhat softer approach by the judge, who would prefer to not interfere with Apple's day-to-day business dealings as much as the DoJ proposes.
Apple's response to the ruling is that they've "done nothing wrong" and they're appealing the ruling. While the Big5 publishers and Apple have 'explained' that they were working against a monopoly power (Amazon) to make the e-book market more competitive, the WSJ team writes, "... the ruling raises questions about the leverage Apple may have when negotiating future content deals" since they are known to drive hard bargains. What's important:
' "Under antitrust law, you can not only prevent the unlawful conduct, but also prevent other conduct that can lead to a similar result," said David Balto, former policy director at the Federal Trade Commission.
Because Apple was found liable for violating U.S. antitrust laws, a separate trial on damages will take place in a lawsuit against the company brought by 33 state attorneys general, who are seeking to recover money on behalf of consumers who paid higher prices for e-books.
Apple also faces a private class-action suit alleging price-fixing. The private plaintiffs could recover damages from Apple, provided their legal claims are distinct from the states'. '
At any rate, the credits for individual books appear larger than most had been expecting.
REMINDER These are the last two days -- 11:59 pm on September 1 is the ending date -- for the large Kindle Fire tablet discounts available for college students who have, or who join, the Prime membership program for $39/yr, with free access to something like 18,000 instant videos and the ability to borrow one book a month from the 400,000+ Kindle books Prime Lending Library (Link is (http://amzn.to/kprimebooks ), with no waiting times or due dates.
Image credit: readingebooks.net
TIMELINE: Ebook Pricing Wars - what DOJ would have seen.
Also, History of the e-book pricing wars
and some recent articles:
DOJ, Apple, and Judge Cote -- status, as of August 27
Links to the latest stories that were written after the blog article here on August 12 about DOJ recommendations and Judge Cote's consideration of proposals for remedies in the e-book pricing case.
1. Citing Steve Jobs email, DOJ claims Apple changed in-app purchase to retaliate against Amazon - by Laura Hazard Owen for GIGAOM
2. E-Books Judge Pledges to Avoid Unnecessary Intrusion Into Apple's Business - by Julie Clover for MacRumors
3. Apple E-Books Judge Cote Says She’ll Limit Antitrust Remedies - by Bob Van Voris for BloombergBusinessweek
4. Apple says tempered e-book penalties still go too far - by Joan E. Solsman for CNET.
Judge Cote said that she'll sign a final order spelling out the remedies next week.
Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links.
[College students with Prime membership: discounts of up to $70 off Kindle Fire tablets until just before midnight Sept 1.]
Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers. Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.
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