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Idahoans eligible for e-book refunds

Idahoans who bought e-books from five of the largest U.S. book publishers between April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012, are getting notifications that they are entitled to refunds as part of a national settlement.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said Idaho consumers will receive up to $347,000.

In the September settlement, Hachette Book Group (USA), HarperCollins Publishers LLC, and Simon & Schuster Inc. agreed to pay a total of more than $69 million to consumers nationwide to resolve antitrust claims of an alleged unlawful conspiracy to fix the prices of e-books.

“This settlement helps consumers in two important ways,” Attorney General Wasden said in a news release Monday. “First, it provides payments to Idaho consumers harmed by the publishers’ scheme to increase e-book prices. Second, the terms of the settlement should ensure competitive e-book prices, by requiring these publishers to change their business practices when pricing e-books.”

E-book retailers have contacted their eligible customers by e-mail. These are legitimate emails authorized by the attorney general, but consumers should be wary of copycat scams. If you purchased e-books from Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo, you will receive a refund automatically — you are not required to file a claim. For purchases from all other retailers, you must submit a claim either at or request a form by calling (866) 621-4153. You may obtain more information regarding the settlement by visiting that website or calling that toll-free number.

Consumers will receive either a credit in their e-book retailer account or a check. The precise amount consumers receive per qualifying e-book purchase is not yet determined.

The lawsuit continues against Apple, Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC (doing business as MacMillian) and Penguin Group (U.S.A.), Inc. A trial is scheduled for June 2013.

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