Illinois consumers to receive additional $19 million from e-book price-fixing settlements; Apple, book publishers involved in overcharging consumers
Illinois consumers will begin receiving their portions of a $19 million payment by Apple Inc. for an alleged e‑books price-fixing conspiracy, Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently announced.
This is the second payment Illinois consumers will receive as part of the settlement reached by Madigan and other states. Illinois consumers received an initial payment of more than $6.4 million in March 2014 from a settlement with book publishers.
Illinois joined 32 other states and territories in suing Apple and five of the six largest book publishers in the country in 2012. Apple agreed to pay $400 million in damages to e-book consumers nationwide as a result, which will be combined with the $21 million remaining from previous settlements with book publishers for a total distribution of $421 million.
The second payment will be sent to 23 million accounts nationwide, which includes accounts from all the major e‑book retailers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple and Google.
“As a result of the conduct of Apple and book publishers, Illinois consumers spent more on e-books than they should have,” Madigan said. “This second settlement will help further compensate Illinois consumers and continue to send a clear signal that we will enforce antitrust laws to ensure fair competition.”
The amount an individual consumer will receive from the second payment depends on the number and types of e-books they purchased from April 1, 2010, to May 21, 2012. E-book consumers can expect $6.93 for each New York Times bestseller and $1.57 for every other book purchased during that period.
Most consumers will receive a credit to their e-book accounts without filing a claim or providing proof of purchase. A small percentage of eligible consumers will receive a mailed check. This group includes consumers who purchased e-books from Sony, Google, a small retailer or who elected to receive a check.
Due to the large number of consumers affected, some consumers may not see credits in their accounts until Friday, June 24. All credits and checks are valid for one year and will expire on June 24, 2017. Account credits from a retailer can be used to purchase anything the retailer sells.
Eligible consumers should review their email for communications from their e-book retailer or from the settlement administrator regarding account credits or checks. For more information on the settlements, visit www.ebooklawsuits.com.