A.G.: Getting your share of e-book settlement?

Posted: October 18, 2012

Buyers of e-books should make sure they'll get their fair share of a huge settlement agreed to by several of the nation's biggest publishers, advises the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.

The $69 million credit-or-refund deal applies to e-books purchased in every state but Minnesota from April 1, 2010, to May 21, 2012, if they were published by Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Macmillan or certain imprints or subsidiaries of these companies.

They allegedly charged inflated or fixed prices.

Note that the actual seller was likely to be another company, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. (See Amazon's FAQ about the settlement: http://amzn.to/V2pcq0.)

The first step is to check mail and e-mail for notifications from retailers or the national settlement administrator.

The notices should detail how to get account credits or to submit a claim form for a check, according to a state news release.

Those claims have to be submitted by Dec. 12.

The deal still awaits final court approval, with a hearing set for early next year.

Anyone deserving of a payment who hasn't been notified should visit the official settlement website: www.EBookAGSettlements.com. The full list of publishers, including imprints, is available there.

Payments will vary according to category of book, as well as the number of claims.

For more information and guidance, call 1-866-621-4153.

That's also the number to call to verify the authenticity of any correspondence. Claimants should be dealing directly with a retailer they know or the official settlement website.

Beware any requests for money or bank account information.

The publishers participating in the settlement have denied any wrongdoing.

A separate lawsuit with similar claims is being pursued by the state attorneys general against Penguin Books, MacMillan and Apple Inc.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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