Amazon customers to get refunds from antitrust settlements

Amzaon.com's digital book buyers may soon find refunds coming their way from settlements in an antitrust litigation.

Amazon.com Inc, sent an email on Saturday morning, to some customers, informing them that they would be eligible to receive a credit estimated at between 30 cents and $1.32 for each e-book purchased between April 2010 and May 2012 published by several major publishers.

Consumers would receive $1.32 for each title that was on the New York Times bestseller list during the claim period, and 30 cents for each title that was not a best seller, according to the official website for the state attorneys general e-book settlements, ebooksagsettlements.com. At the time of introduction of the Kindle e-reader in late 2007, it made the $9.99 e-book bestseller a key part of its marketing efforts.

The refunds are a result of legal settlements struck between three major publishers and the attorneys general of most US states and territories over e-book pricing. The publishers, NewsCorp's HarperCollins Publishers, Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group and CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster, were parties to the settlement and agreed to pay $69 million into a fund to pay for the refunds. News Corp is also owner of The Wall Street Journal.

The refunds would not be made until the courts approved the settlements at a hearing scheduled for February.

According to Amazon, customers' accounts would be automatically credited if the settlement was approved, adding customers could also ask for their refund to be paid as a cheque.