E-book lover? Check your Amazon account — you might have money from a class-action suit

The Apple iPad launched in 2010 with an emphasis on e-book offerings.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Ticketmaster isn’t the only site giving out freebies this week.

Thanks to a class-action lawsuit, Apple is paying for Amazon account credit for people who bought certain e-books between April 2010 and May 2012.

You can check here to see if you’ve got any settlement money in your account. Amazon emailed customers who received credits on Monday to let them know.

If you purchased e-books in the eligible time period from a different retailer, such as Barnes & Noble or Google, check the Apple e-book settlement website’s FAQ to find out where and when you can see your portion of the cash.


Apple is on the hook for $400 million over claims that it conspired with five major book publishers to inflate e-book prices starting in 2010. A federal appeals court said Apple worked with publishers to raise prices on e-books and take away market share from Amazon.

The late Steve Jobs was a key player in the scheme, which increased the price of some e-books by $3 to $5. The move coincided with the release of the iPad, which Apple prominently advertised as an e-reader.

“The customer pays a little more, but that’s what you want anyway,” Jobs told publishers, according to the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division.

In total, the price bump cost consumers more than $100 million. At the time, Amazon controlled 90% of the book market; after the iPad was introduced, that market share dropped to 60%.

The Justice Department, along with 33 states and territories, filed a class-action antitrust lawsuit against Apple and the publishers.

Publishers Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster agreed to settlements in 2012, and Penguin and Macmillan settled in 2013. They also signed an agreement prohibiting them from restricting e-book retailers’ ability to set prices.

Apple appealed the initial decision, but it was upheld 2 to 1 in 2015. The tech giant tried to appeal to the Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case in March. Apple still denies any wrongdoing in the case.

The settlement credits will be valid through June 24, 2017. You can use the money to buy anything on Amazon except for Amazon gift cards and certain subscriptions.


If you’re looking for something new to read, check out this week’s bestsellers and see the latest reviews from our critics.

Find Jessica Roy on Twitter @jessica_roy.


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