updated 12:45 pm EDT, Fri August 30, 2013
Publishers expected to pay out over $162 million
Two of the five publishers accused of conspiring with Apple to inflate e-book prices, Macmillan and Penguin, have started issuing emails to e-book customers, informing them of rights, responsibilities, and proposed terms in the legal settlement the companies negotiated. Under current terms, the publishers would distribute approximately $162.25 million to customers who bought e-books at any digital outlet between the iBookstore's launch on April 1st, 2010 and May 21st, 2012.
Shoppers participating in the settlement would get $3.06 per book that has ever appeared on the New York Times' bestseller list, but just $0.73 for each non-bestseller. A special exception would be made for residents of Minnesota, who would get a higher amount because they weren't included in an initial round of settlements.
People who bought books through Amazon would get an automatic account credit, while Apple, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble shoppers would have to manually authorize credit, or alternately ask for reimbursement via check. E-book buyers have until October 21st to object to the settlement or exclude themselves from it; a December 6th hearing will decide if the terms are approved.
Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster have already gained court approval for their own settlement agreements. Still in flux is Apple's own settlement, the terms of which have been softened considerably since an original Department of Justice proposal.