Does Apple Owe Me Money In Their E-Book Antitrust Settlement?

Image courtesy of F Delventhal

Earlier today, we shared the news that Apple is on the hook for $450 million in the settlement of a 2012 antitrust case against Apple and five major book publishers. While publishers settled and refunds were distributed to e-book buyers, Apple went to trial, lost their case, and appealed the verdict up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied the company’s petition earlier today. That leaves one important question: “Do I get any money?”

The settlement is not for people who purchased books from Apple’s iBooks store: they’re included, but the price-fixing settlement includes people who purchased any e-book from Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group USA, and Simon & Schuster. Thanks to the vast array of imprints each publisher puts out, those could be under any of dozens of names: you can find a full list of imprints that would have been included in the suit in this PDF document.

$400 million of Apple’s settlement is earmarked for refunds to e-book customers. Appleinsider reports that you can expect between $6.05 and $6.54 for each bestseller purchased during the key period, and between $1.39 and $1.50 for each non-bestseller. You will not receive settlement funds for books that you downloaded for free, rented, or received as gifts. The books had to be purchased between April 1, 2010 and May 31, 2012.

However, the easiest way to know whether you’ll be receiving money from Apple is if you have already received money from your e-book platform(s) of choice. Google required affected users to file claim forms by October 31, 2014, and Sony issued payments automatically, but as paper checks. The other major e-book platforms automatically issued credits to users, and will do the same again once the Apple settlement is finalized.

If you need to update your contact information with the e-book stores, the state attorneys general behind the antitrust suit can direct you to the places where you should update your information for each store.

How to find out if you are included in Apple’s $450M e-book settlement [Appleinsider]
Attorney General and Class Apple E-book Settlement [Official Site]

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