Anti-trust settlement means restitution for CT e-book purchasers

If you are a Connecticut resident and purchased an e-book published by Hachette Book Group, Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. and Simon & Schuster Inc. between April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012 you’re about to be eligible to receive a share of $1,264,658. That’s the total headed to Connecticut consumers as part of an agreement announced by Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and with 54 attorneys general in other states, districts and U.S. territories, in an antitrust settlement to resolve antitrust claims of an alleged unlawful conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books.

The three book publishers – among the largest in the United States - have agreed to pay a total of more than $69 million to consumers and to change the way they price eBooks going forward.   Jepsen said the settlement “will provide restitution to those customers who were harmed by this price-fixing scheme, but it also will restore competition in the eBook market for consumers’ long-term benefit.”

Under the proposed settlement agreement, which the court must approve, Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster will begin making restitution payments to consumers 30 days after the court approval of the settlement becomes final.   Another case against non-settling publishers – Penguin and MacMillan and Apple, Inc. – remains pending in the Southern District of New York.