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E-book buyers, a refund may be coming your way

A $166 million lawsuit will result in money back to consumers

Published: March 26, 2014 10:00 AM

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If you bought an e-book between April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012, chances are you’re eligible for a refund, thanks to a recently settled lawsuit between state attorneys general and several book publishers.

Depending on how many e-books you purchased, you could be entitled to a decent refund. For New York Times bestsellers, you’ll receive $3.17 per e-book. That applies to books that were on the Times bestseller list at any time, not just when the book was purchased. Other books will bring a refund of 73 cents apiece.

The $166 million settlement was reached between attorneys general nationwide and five publishers—Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin Group (USA)—according to New York Attorney General Eric Scheiderman. A case against Apple is ongoing.

If you're in the market for an e-book reader or tablet, check our buying guides and Ratings.

The lawsuits alleged a consipracy among the publishers to fix and raise prices of e-books. The publishers settled without admitting wrongdoing.

Credits from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple will automatically be made to your e-book account. Owners of Sony e-books will receive checks.

Residents of Minnesota should check their state attorney general's webpage or call 866-621-4153, as the settlement with that state was different.

You've got a year to use the credit, so start shopping.

—Donna Tapellini

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