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Amazon offers ebook refunds in price-fixing settlement

Amazon will offer partial refunds to customers who bought ebooks between April 2010 and May 2012 a result of the settlement in a price-fixing case between publishers and the attorneys general of most U.S. states.

The retailer is notifying eligible customers by email. Compensation ranges from $0.30 to $1.32 per ebook from three publishers, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster. The firms have agreed to pay some $69 million into a fund for the settlement. The refunds will be either in account credit or as a check if requested, and won’t arrive until February 2013, subject to court approval.

How to find refunds

Amazon explains on a special FAQ page: “If the court approves the settlements, the account credit will appear automatically and can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books. Alternatively, eligible customers may request a check in the amount of the credit by following the instructions included in the formal notice of the settlements.”

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The biggest refunds are reserved for titles from the New York Times bestseller list within the claim period, while the lower tier is for titles not on the list. The official website for State Attorneys General ebook settlements, ebooksagsettlements.com, details that Amazon customers will receive a second email confirmation when their refund credit has been transferred to their account.

As part of the settlement, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Google are also required to issue similar refunds. In the case of B&N, Apple, and Kobo, the credit will be debited automatically; with Sony and Google, you will have to file a claim form before December 12, 2012 in order to receive a check. However, Penguin, Macmillan, and Apple have yet to agree to the settlement, pending further court hearings.

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