Massive ebook price-fixing suit leads to settlement

Posted by Raven Lovecraft

If you are an avid ebook user, chances are you are in for a nice little surprise.

You probably haven't heard about it, but there was a massive lawsuit against a bunch of major publishing companies alleging that they schemed with Amazon and others to boost the prices of ebooks.

So if you bought an ebook from iTunes from 2010 to 2012 from one of a list of major publishers, you are most likely entitled to a credit for some sort of difference on the price that you paid and the price that you should have paid.

According to the lawsuit allegations, publishers Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, and Simon & Schuster all colluded with ebook providers to create a price-fixing scheme.

Specifically, the alleged scheme occurred between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.

The suit also names Penguin and Holtzbrinck Publishers but these companies were not part of the massive settlement. Apple is offering users a credit into their iTunes account if they purchased an affected book.

Affected customers should have received an email over the weekend explaining the situation. Other sources, like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, also emailed their customers.

The lawsuit came from the US Department of Justice. The publishers have agreed to pay $69 million for the massive settlement.

Amazon, for one, is praising the settlement, saying it is a victory for its customers. Obviously, outlets like Amazon and iTunes want to offer the content for low price points, so this is also a victory for them.