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Kindle customers may get credit via settlements

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:41 a.m. HST, Oct 15, 2012

NEW YORK » Amazon has alerted its Kindle customers that they are entitled to a credit on prior electronic book purchases as part of settlements between some major e-book publishers and the government.

In September a federal judge approved the U.S. Justice Department's settlement with Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, which were accused of conspiring in a price-fixing scheme.

Among other things, the agreement requires the publishers to abandon the pricing system that they had conceived with Apple before it released its iPad tablet in 2010. The publishers must also provide the funds for the Kindle credit.

"We think these settlements are a big win for our customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future," the Amazon Kindle Team said in the email sent to customers.

Amazon.com Inc. told its Kindle customers over the weekend that they will be contacted when the credit is applied to their account if the court approves the settlement in February. Customers don't need to do anything to receive the credit.

Amazon said that while it doesn't know the amount of the credit until the court approves the settlements, the state Attorneys General estimate it will be from 30 cents to $1.32 for every eligible Kindle book purchased between April 2010 and May 2012. The credit can be used to buy e-books or print books, or customers can request a check in the amount of the credit.

Shares of Amazon fell $3.36, or 1.3 percent, to $239 in morning trading today. They peaked at $264.11 in mid-September and traded as low as $166.97 last December.

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XML808 wrote:
Wow, $0.30 to $1.32. What I want them to explain is why a book which is out on paperback costs more on a Kindle or iPad then it does in a traditional brick and mortar store. There is no paper, printing or distribution involved in an eBook so logic would dictate that it costs LESS than a paperback being sold at Costco or Sam's Club.
on October 15,2012 | 07:30AM
BillD wrote:
The same reason that an On-Demand movie at your home is more expensive than RedBox......convenience.
on October 15,2012 | 08:05AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Why do companies get away with price fixing? Because we, the consumers, continue to purchase the products at the colluded price. We live in a society of immediate gratification. Just look at the lines that form for the "newest" iPhone or the "newest" video game. Until we the consumers learn to be smarter with our spending we will continue to be taken advantage of by companies that seize the opportunity. Just look at the video game sales. Notice that almost all video games put out are $59.99? That is regardless of how much was invested in creating them. Some are actually worth the price due to the cost of producing them. But most are not. But you'll still see people paying the exorbitant price because they want to have the latest thing. Our spending habits are what these companies like these publishing companies look at. If we continue to spend so many dollars for something, they will continue to price it at that amount. If we stopped buying the item for their fixed price, they will be forced to lower it. It is just simple economics. In the case of these offending publishers they went the illegal route and decided to give the products an "artificial" price and noticed that the consumers still bought into it. Another example is the so-called pay-per-view service that a lot of people obviously pay to watch. Just look at the price of the boxing matches or even those scripted wrestling "matches" that go for a huge amount. These promoters know that people will pay a lot of money just to witness the matches "live". And that is how they can pay the "winners" a huge purse and still pocket a handsome amount to themselves. Maybe we, the consumers, should come together and organize a consumer's group that will say, "Hey, we won't buy your electronic books if they cost more than such and such." If there is a big enough membership, they will stop ripping us off. But that won't happen and they know it. I am sure that the offending companies will still have their loyal customers who will forget that these companies pulled a fast one on them.
on October 15,2012 | 09:01AM
BillD wrote:
The publishers didn't get away with it, that is what the article is about it. The E-Book publishers are having togive back $69 million to the consumers. If you want more of this type of stuff make sure you vote for people who are concerned about consumer protections rather than big buisness.
on October 15,2012 | 09:34AM
cojef wrote:
Gas companies in California, so far has gotten away with tampering with supply side, thereby creating a shortage, resulting in price hike approaching $5 a gallon, and in some locales over that price. So it depends on your Attorney Generals of each State to determine the merits of an investigation. Venture to guess the gas price hike will run into the billions for the companies. Price gouging hurts the poor more than the rich, who understand the market model that created their wealth. INOKEA, we got ours, so what, let the masses suffer.
on October 15,2012 | 01:11PM
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