Utahns receiving payments from e-books price-fixing settlement

Published: Wednesday, March 26 2014 11:26 a.m. MDT

The 8.9-inch Amazon Kindle HDX tablet computer is shown at left next to the 7-inch Amazon Kindle HDX, shown at right on the optional folding "Origami" stand that also protects the screen when not in use, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, in Seattle. Utahns began receiving account credits or checks this week in partial settlement of an e-book price-fixing lawsuit brought by attorneys general in 33 states.

Ted S. Warren, Associated Press

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns began receiving account credits or checks this week in partial settlement of an e-book price-fixing lawsuit brought by attorneys general in 33 states.

Utah joined the lawsuit against Apple Inc. and five of the six largest e-book publishers in the country in 2012. The claims were settled for $166 million nationwide, including $1.5 million that will be distributed to Utah residents. Publishers involved in the agreement are Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Simon & Schuster Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC (doing business as Macmillan), and Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

"We are always pleased when our office can team with other states to return hard-earned money back to Utah consumers. Because we are a tech-oriented state, many have been impacted by these violations of antitrust laws,” Attorney General Sean D. Reyes said in a statement.

An account credit or check will be based on the number of eligible e-books purchased from April 1, 2010, to May 21, 2012. Whether a consumer receives a credit or check depends on the retailer who sold the e-book and, in certain circumstances, on whether a claim was properly filed.

Apple declined to settle the claims against it. But a federal judge found at trial that the company played a central role in a conspiracy to eliminate retail competition in order to raise e-book prices. A second trial to decide the amount of damages Apple must pay is expected this summer.

For more information on the settlements, go to www.ebookagsettlements.com or call 866-621-4153.

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