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Hoosiers to receive $8.6 million in e-book credits

June 23, 2016

Hoosiers who bought e-books from a variety of companies over a 12-year period will receive credits or checks totaling $8.6 million as a result of a price-fixing case against Apple Inc.

Apple paid a total of $400 million for the credits nationwide after the United States Supreme Court denied its request to review a lower court finding that Apple had violated antitrust laws.

Indiana joined 33 states in investigating and prosecuting Apple for its participation in the conspiracy to artificially inflate e-book prices.

“Indiana and its partner states worked diligently to refund consumers negatively impacted by this price-fixing scheme,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Thursday in a written statement. “Attorneys general will continue to fight on behalf of the public to ensure this type of anti-consumer collusion is deterred in the future.”

The compensation affects purchases made from April 1, 2010 to May 21, 2012. For each e-book that was a New York Times bestseller, consumers will receive $6.93. For all other e-books, the payment will be $1.57.

In July 2013, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Apple conspired with the following five major U.S. Publishers: Penguin Random House, Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC, Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC and Simon & Schuster Inc.

In June 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed that ruling. And in March 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Apple’s request to review the Second Circuit’s decision.

All five of the conspiring publishers settled prior to trial, paying a total of approximately $166 million in nationwide consumer compensation. Most of that money was distributed to consumers in March 2014. Already, about $2.9 million has been paid to Hoosiers who purchased e-books.

The Attorney General’s office said the distribution that began this week consists of the $400 million Apple payment and additional funds remaining from the publisher settlements. The $566 million total nationwide compensation to consumers is more than twice the estimated amount of actual damages.

Customers who purchased e-books through Sony or Google will receive checks in the mail. Customers who purchased e-books through Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble or Kobo will automatically receive credits in their accounts (unless they previously requested to receive checks).

Customers receiving account credits should expect to receive an email this week or shortly thereafter, indicating that the credits are available in their accounts. Credits can be used to purchase anything sold by these retailers, not only e-books.

More information is available at www.ebooklawsuits.com or by calling 866-686-9333.

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