Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today advised Rhode Island consumers who may have purchased certain E-Books that the notice process is underway in a $69 million national settlement with publishers announced earlier this year. Approximately $254,000 of the settlement will be allotted to Rhode Island consumers.
Over the past few days, consumers affected by the settlement should have received emails from the retailers where they purchased their E-Books.
Consumers who purchased E-Books through Apple or Sony will have received emails showing the sender as "State Attorneys General E-book Settlement," with the email address Administrator@vertismail.com. These are legitimate emails authorized by the Attorney General.
Additional information about the settlement and the credits can be found at www.EBookAGSettlements.com or by calling toll-free 866-621-4153 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central, Monday through Friday.
Consumers who bought one or more qualifying E-Books from April 1, 2010, through May 21, 2012, and who follow the instructions in their notices will receive a credit into their E-Books retailer account or a check. Distribution of checks and/or credits varies among E-Books retailers. There will now be two levels of payments, one for eligible New York Times bestsellers and a second for other eligible books. The exact amount to be paid per E-Books in both categories is not yet finalized.
In the September settlement, Hachette Book Group (USA), HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., and Simon & Schuster Inc. agreed to pay a total of more than $69 million to consumers to resolve antitrust claims of an alleged unlawful conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books. The publishers have also agreed to change the way they price eBooks going forward.
Litigation continues against Apple, Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers L.L.C. d/b/a Macmillan and Penguin Group (U.S.A.), Inc. A trial is currently scheduled for June 2013.