If you hover over the Shop by Department pulldown menu on the left side of your Amazon.com home page and then select Books->Kindle Books, you will find out how large your credit from the eBooks antitrust settlement is. I was pleasantly surprised to find that mine totals $43.36. It was issued March 10, 2014, but I’m not sure it’s been visible until today. (Hat tip to listener Linda Hopkins for letting me know about this.)
Note: an easier way to find out the size of your credit is to check your email inbox and look for a message from Amazon.com. The subject will be your name and “You have a new $_____ book credit in your Amazon account.” Mine arrived at 5:28 a.m. this morning MDT.
The credit expires on March 31, 2015. It is calculated based on your purchase of qualifying Kindle books between April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012. The money has been provided by publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin under terms of the settlements they agreed to as a result of the eBooks price-fixing case brought by the Department of Justice. Apple did not settle and is appealing the federal court’s verdict against it. If the verdict stands, there will be another sum of money flowing to readers courtesy of the company that initiated the scheme to keep eBook prices artificially high at the launch of the iPad.
Click here for an FAQ on the eBook settlements. It contains lots of details about the settlement payment, including the fact that you receive a bigger credit for Kindle books purchased that were on the New York Times Bestseller list. There is also a wrinkle involving whether or not you were a Minnesota resident during the claims period or not. That’s because the Minnesota Attorney General did not participate in the lawsuits, and claims on behalf of Gopher State eBook buyers were settled by a Plaintiff Class on different terms through separate negotiations.
I assume there will be similar credits for other eBook retailers, but I just checked my Barnes & Noble account online, and there is no notice of a credit related to the settlement yet. Probably Amazon has been preparing for this and set things up to go live with the credits the moment it was possible under terms of the settlements.
Enjoy your Kindle credits!