For those following along here on the blog, my last post on the ebook settlements noted that we should see some movement on the settlement payouts by April. Sure enough, this morning Amazon emailed me, along with other Kindle owners, to announce the credit had been deposited and was available. Continue reading
My voracious appetite for eBooks for a number of years (lately, it’s been off, but that’s because I’ve shifted back to print for a bit for a few series I always read each winter) means I’ve continued to watch carefully the progress of the eBook settlements with interest. Sadly, the wait continues, but there’s finally a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Continue reading
I’ve been waiting patiently for the latest round of deadlines to pass regarding the book publisher settlements, which I’ve written about here previously. I noticed search traffic building on the topic, and I realized that 30-day appeal deadline had passed. So, what now? Continue reading
I’ve written here previously about the eBook settlements book publishers made regarding lawsuits around eBook pricing. Previously, settlement amounts made the news, but the actual payments seemed further and further in the distance. Continue reading
It wasn’t that long ago that I wrote a post about the pending eBook settlements, and how it looked like it wouldn’t be much longer to receive the settlement payments. I was wrong, but fortunately the news isn’t all bad.
Amazon sent out notices to customers around Labor Day weekend noting that the payments were still pending, but they had grown, due to additional settlements made with more publishers. Thanks to the additional payments, the amount paid per book has now increased, with New York Times bestsellers estimated to garner a refund of $3.06 per book, with non-bestsellers $.73 per book. That’s more than double the previously announced numbers.
Still the same is people who bought eBooks from a major company, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, will by default receive the refunds directly from the company as credit towards future purchases. As a result of the additional settlements, however, people have now been given a second window to request a check, as opposed to receiving a credit. That window ends in mid-October.
Still vague is when the money will be paid, but the earliest will be early December, which is when the final hearing will be; appeals could force further delays, but with all the publishers on board and the payments heavily increased, it’s less likely to happen now.
This has been sitting in my drafts folder for awhile, but it’s worth talking about now, as the topic continues to evolve and settlement money should be arriving soon.
For those not paying attention, lawsuits were filed against the largest book publishers and Apple for colluding to raise the price of eBooks, which had been held down by Amazon holding the line at a $9.99 price on many titles. The change to what’s called the agency model of pricing put restrictions on pricing that attorneys general in just about every state fought. The publishers opted to settle, and the result of that is a credit for each book purchased in a roughly two year window, anywhere between $0.30 (the average book by the publishers in question) and $1.32 (New York Times bestseller).
For purchasers from some of the big book sellers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, the process is frictionless; credits will be placed in purchasers’ accounts for use on other purchases. For others, the check request deadline has long passed. Meanwhile, although the settlement was approved in February, a follow-up in March started a six-month clock that will expire in a few weeks, meaning people should finally see their share soon.
Ironically, the reason for the pricing change was to level the playing field, as Amazon was considered to be running away with the eBook market at the time. Yet Barnes & Noble’s Nook division has long been struggling, and many suspect Apple’s iBooks sales, while certainly decent, haven’t been stellar. Of course, the numbers for most of these companies are shrouded in opaque statements, so it’s hard to know for sure, but at least in Amazon and Apple’s cases, they’re clearly not going anywhere anytime soon.
One of the great things about the printed word, the vinyl record, or even the CD, was that the item always retained some sort of value. The fact that you owned that item meant you could also sell that item, and the proliferation of options to buy used books, CDs, or even hunting through a stack of vinyl at a flea market had its moments of joy. Continue reading