Attorney General George Jepsen today announced that a settlement with electronic book publishers will provide some Connecticut consumers with refunds for e-books purchased on tablet computers and other reading devices.

The $69 million settlement was reached with e-book publishers Hachette Book Group, HaperCollins Publishers, and Simon and Schuster. An antitrust lawsuit was filed by Attorneys General in 49 states as well as Washington DC and 5 US territories alleging the publishers (along with the Penguin Group and Macmillan) conspired to fix prices of electronic books. The settling publishers deny wrongdoing, and the litigation is continuing against Penguin, Macmillan, and Apple Inc.

Connecticut consumers who purchased e-books from Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon and Schuster between April 1, 2010 through May 21, 2012 are eligible. An email from administrator@vertismail.com will be sent to consumers notifying them of their eligibility for a share of the settlement money.  Some e-book sellers, like Apple, Sony, and Barnes and Noble will require customers to activate their credits after receiving a notification. Amazon.com will provide credits automatically. Those credits will come in the form of store credit, but checks can also be requested.

The settlement’s website says that the exact refunds have not yet been determined but will be approximately $1.32 per book for New York Times bestsellers, and 30 cents per book for others.

“This settlement helps consumers who were overcharged get back some money for their past purchases and to ensure competitive eBook prices in possible future purchases,” Jepsen said in a press release.


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