Apple to begin doling out $400 million to customers in ebook price-fixing settlement

Beginning June 21, 2016, millions of e-book purchasers will receive credits and checks for twice their losses following an antitrust lawsuit filed against Apple Inc. and five of the nation’s largest publishing companies for their roles in an alleged e-book price-fixing scheme, according to Hagens Berman.

Consumers will receive a $6.93 credit for every e-book which was a New York Times bestseller, and a $1.57 credit for other e-books.

Attorneys say the process is uniquely simple for consumers – credits will be automatically sent directly into the accounts of consumers at major book retailers, including Inc., Barnes & Noble Inc., Kobo Inc. and Apple. Retailers will issue emails and put the credits in the accounts simultaneously.

If e-book purchasers requested a check in lieu of a credit, they will receive a check. If purchasers received a credit during the first round of distribution of publisher settlements, and they did not opt out, they will automatically receive a credit.

The combined $400 million that will go to consumers follows the final stage in the lawsuit in which the Supreme Court denied appeal from Apple, bringing the consumer payback amount to more than twice the amount of losses suffered by the class of e-book purchasers. This represents one of the most successful recovery of damages in any antitrust lawsuit in the country.

“To make this settlement effective and accessible for consumers, our team faced a sizable undertaking that entailed almost constant contact with the retailers to make sure the credits will be applied to consumer accounts across the country,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “This is the second round of distribution in the case, and we believe the only case in the country to have so much money returned directly to consumers.”

Attorneys calculated damages based on the books purchased and worked cooperatively with retailers to calculate the award for each class member.

The class of consumers alleged that Apple illegally colluded with a group of five publishing companies to manipulate the e-book market by artificially raising the price of e-books, lowering competition and charging consumers higher prices. According to attorneys, the anticompetitive price-fixing collusion between Apple and the publishers caused the price of e-books to increase 30 to 50 percent to $12.99 or $14.99 from Amazon’s $9.99 price.

Hagens Berman litigated the case jointly with the United States Department of Justice and attorneys general from 33 U.S. states and territories.

Source: Hagens Berman

MacDailyNews Take: Farce.

Why there will soon be a huge rise in e-book sales – March 9, 2016
Why Apple’s e-book appeal went down in flames – March 7, 2016
U.S. Supreme Court rejects Apple appeal over $450 million e-book case – March 7, 2016


  1. If I get a settlement from Apple, I’m donating it to charity, as I encourage all other Apple supporters to do.
    Maybe give it to a charity that support authors so they can actually make a living instead of being screwed by Amazon.

        1. Hey Pete, you did know Apple got found out about price fixing and they had the arrogance to take it court…. and LOST! The publishers accepted they did wrong.

          1. Hey Featherbrain did you know Apple was NOT price fixing and had the “arrogance” to try to prove their innocence in court but yes lost thanks to a hyperactive DOJ and government overreach totally in the wrong. A travesty of court judgment. Publishers tried to cut their losses early. It was never established that Apple knew anything about whether publishers themselves had conspired together.

            Bottom line is Apple was never a monopolist in this area and Amazon is, and is working to destroy agency models and publishers rights. The real enemy is and always was Amazon. Disingenuous much?

            I hope you won’t have the “arrogance” to try to prove yourself innocent in a court of law someday since a personality like yours will inevitably end up in front of a judge. Just plead guilty.

      1. The only people getting screwed here are the authors.

        I actually want to pay more for books, so those poor authors can make a living and keep writing.

        The DOJs job is to prevent the abuse of a monopoly, not to encourage the lowest price in any market.

        If authors can’t make a living, they will simply stop writing. That is the future that Amazon is promoting.

        1. Judiciary was dead wrong. It’s unfortunate Steve Jobs was not here to add his testimony in. This is a muddled case to be generous, stretching credulity to get a conviction. Naturally rabid Apple Hating doofuses like you are anxious to jump on it.

  2. Unless your a total avid book nut, and bought and read multiple new books every week, the most your going to get is a couple bucks in a credit somewhere that won’t even buy another book.. The minimal credit should have at least been enough to get a book of your choice.. that’s not going to happen unless you bought enough books to justify it.

    1. I got the email from Amazon today that they put $1.57 of Apple’s money in my account, and it has to be used in the next year or is lost. I wonder, if I don’t use it does it go into their pockets?

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