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.