By Allan Maurer
We received this from Amazon in our email over the weekend:
“We have good news. You are entitled to a credit for some of your past e-book purchases as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states and territories, including yours.”
State attorneys estimate the credits will add up to .30 cents to $1.32 for each eligible Kindle book bought between April 2010 and May 2012.
The credits are a result of the ruling by a federal judge in September of the US Justice Department’s settlement with Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Shuster, which it accused of conspiring in a price-fixing scheme.
The ruling also requires the publishers to drop the pricing system they created with Apple ahead of its iPad tablet release in 2010. The publishers will provide the funds for the Kindle credits.
The Amazon email added:
“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.”
It also said, “n addition to the account credit, the settlements impose limitations on the publishers’ ability to set e-book prices. We think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future.”
The credits may not amount to much for many customers, but if you buy as many e-books as we do, they might buy you one or two more – especially now that prices have returned to the lower range Amazon prefers.
There has been a lot of argument in the publishing industry that while e-books may not cost as much as printed books to produce, the major costs of acquiring, editing, and paying writers and staff remain much the same.
Personally, we think ebooks should be substantially less expensive (Amazon’s $9.95 seems fair for most).
Then again, if you read many of the free or really inexpensive self-published e-books out there, you can see the publishers’ side of the argument, because the unedited books are often full of typos and many are barely worth reading past the first page.
What do you think?
- DOJ plans to sue five publishers and Apple over e-book prices
- E-books vs. print: is either winning? (infographic)
- Amazon offers new Wi-Fi Kindle model for $139
- E-readers rapidly changing the book business
- Class action suit claims Apple & five top publishers illegally fix ebook prices
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