Washington State Consumers To Get $2 Million In E-Book Price Fixing Settlement

One of the first settlement amounts to be announced in a nationwide agreement between various states and a group of three of the country’s largest book publishers comes today, as Washington state says e-book consumers will receive $2 million over allegations of e-book price fixing.

The state’s attorney general made the statement yesterday that the money is part of a $69 million antitrust settlement that Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. and Simon & Schuster Inc. agreed to. It’s been an ongoing issue for two years when the Connecticut and Texas Attorneys General and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division began investigating the publishers.

Not only will the publishers have to pay up, but they’ve agreed to allow online retailers price books competitively from now on, instead of having to sell them for what the publishers designate. Consumers who purchased books from the publishers can expect to receive notifications about their refunds soon.

Macmillan and Penguin are still embroiled in a case regarding similar claims of price fixing.

Wash. AG announces settlement with book publishers [Associated Press]