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Good news has come from Amazon regarding Kindle eBooks. In an email to customers this past Saturday, Amazon told many Kindle users that they may be entitled to a refund of between $0.30 and $1.32 for e-books purchased between April 2010 and May 2012. Reuters is reporting that the “books must have been published by three publishers who have agreed to settle a lawsuit that accused them of inflating e-book prices.” But don’t get too excited just yet–the ruling is still pending court approval that probably won’t happen any time before next February.

If the settlement does gain court approval, it will be a big victory for distributors (Amazon) and consumers, but a big loss for publishers. Part of the deal would limit publishers’ abilities to set the prices for e-books, which will theoretically lead to lower costs for customers. Amazon’s email said, “we think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future.” If you didn’t receive an email from Amazon about this, it either means that you did not purchase a qualifying book or the purchase was not made between the April 2010 – May 2012 window.

The lawsuit in question came about after allegations that six publishers, including Apple, had been participating in illegal price-fixing in order to compete with Amazon. The announcement of impending refunds comes after three of the accused publishers–HarperCollins Publishers Inc, Simon & Schuster Inc and Hachette Book Group–decided they would rather settle than take their chances in the courtroom. Interestingly enough, Amazon apparently was not part of the lawsuit.

Assuming the settlement gets approved, Amazon customers can expect the have their account credited for future purchases or request a check for reimbursement. If you’re looking to find out more information on the settlement, Ebooks AG Settlements should contain most of the answers, including a case summary, FAQ’s, and payment option resources.


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