On Saturday, Amazon started e-mailing its Kindle customers, alerting them to a possible credit coming their way courtesy of Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster. The three publishers were pulled into an antitrust suit in April by the Department of Justice, along with two other e-book publishers (Penguin and Macmillan) and Apple, as part of a massive antitrust case that started after the EU began investigating e-book prices. 16 states filed their own antitrust suits against the publishers and Apple as well.
“Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster have settled an antitrust lawsuit about e-book prices,” Amazon’s notification reads, “Under the proposed settlements, the publishers will provide funds for a credit that will be applied directly to your Amazon.com account. If the Court approves the settlements, the account credit will appear automatically and can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books.”
While the settlement still needs to be approved by the court at a hearing on February 8, 2013, Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster have already set up a $69 million fund to pay back customers. According to Amazon, customers can expect a credit in the range of $0.30 to $1.32 for each eligible e-book the customer bought between April 2010 and May 2012 on a Kindle. Customers can also request the credit in the form of a check.