Kindle users could be entitled to e-book refunds



On Saturday 13 October, Amazon sent emails to owners of Kindle ereaders that they could possibly receive refunds of between US$0.30 and US$1.32 for e-books bought between April 2010 and May 2012. This is depending on an approval by a judge in a settlement case of three publishers who have been accused of inflating ebook prices. There has been no indication from Amazon of how many customers could be affected.

This, according to Amazon, could see cheaper prices for Kindle users and a limit on publishers’ ability to set ebook prices. In the email to its customers, Amazon reportedly said: “We think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future”. If the settlements are approved, these refunds will be applied automatically eligible customers’ accounts.

Apple Inc and five other publishers were accused in April by the Justice Department of illegally conspiring on prices to counteract Amazon’s dominance in e-books. News Corp’s Harper Collins Publishers, CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster and Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group, just three of the publishers, denied any wrongdoing, but decided to settle to the amount of US$69-million, avoiding the cost of a trail. Amazon was not party to this lawsuit.

According to the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group, the popularity of ebooks doubled in 2011, making up 15 percent of the market last year, up from 6 percent in 2010.

While increasing in sales power and bringing in more than $2 billion in 2011, printed books still sell more than ebooks, at $11.1 billion in 2011.

Image: jornijorni



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