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Apple is returning money to ebook buyers after losing price-fixing lawsuit

Apple is returning money to ebook buyers after losing price-fixing lawsuit

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Three years after a court first ruled that Apple was liable for conspiring to fix ebook prices, consumers are finally getting their money back for buying overpriced books. Starting today, booksellers are beginning to refund customers by placing store credit into the accounts they bought the affected ebooks with. Apple will pay out $400 million to impacted consumers. It still denies wrongdoing with regard to ebook pricing.

Refunds should be automatically credited to consumers' bookstore accounts

Apple agreed to a settlement that'll have it refunding some of the cost of ebooks sold by major publishers between April 1st, 2010 through May 21st, 2012. It'll have to return $6.93 for books sold during that period that were a New York Times bestseller and $1.57 for all other books — in both cases, it's supposed to be twice as much as consumers actually overpaid. Money should automatically be credited into buyers' accounts on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other ebook sellers, including Apple's iTunes.

This essentially wraps up the case against Apple, which started back in 2012. It was accused of colluding with the major book publishers to raise the price of ebooks above the $9.99 that Amazon liked to sell them for. While all the publishers went ahead and settled, Apple took the case to court, where it lost in 2013. It appealed over the next few years, eventually being rejected by the Supreme Court in early 2016. That means it now has to comply with terms of a settlement made years back, which require it to pay out $400 million to consumers and an addition $50 million for litigation fees.