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$400m to consumers from ebooks settlement with Apple

Staff writer |
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that the $400 million for consumers in the settlement of the eBooks litigation with Apple will be distributed this week.

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The distribution will also include funds remaining from the publisher settlements, which totaled $166 million and which were mostly distributed in 2014.

The $566 million for consumers is more than twice the estimated amount of actual damages that the States Attorneys General presented in the damages phase of the litigation.

As 6.16% of the U.S. population, New Yorkers are estimated to receive $25.9 million from the distribution, in addition to the $8.9 million New Yorkers received in 2014.

Checks or credits will be delivered to consumers for eBook purchases made between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012, in the amount of $6.93 per New York Times best seller and $1.57 per other eBook.

The distribution will be credits in individuals’ accounts for consumers who bought eBooks from Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and/or Kobo (unless the consumer requested in 2014 that a check be delivered instead). Checks will be mailed to consumers who bought from Sony and Google

The litigation, brought by 33 States, alleged that Apple conspired with five major publishers to raise the price of eBooks.

In June 2013, the States and the U.S. Department of Justice went to trial against Apple. In July 2013, the district court held that Apple had conspired with the publishers to raise the retail prices of eBooks.

After that finding of liability and before the trial on damages, the States reached a settlement with Apple in which the company agreed to pay $400 million to consumers if the trial court’s finding of liability was affirmed.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the finding of liability on June 30, 2015. The Supreme Court denied Apple’s petition to review that decision on March 7, 2016. That finality triggered Apple’s obligation to pay $400 million in consumer compensation.