updated 12:16 pm EDT, Tue March 25, 2014
Math for calculating credit unknown
Amazon has started issuing credit to Kindle e-book buyers as a part of the legal settlements agreed to by publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin, according to notices being sent to out to customers. The money is being deposited into shoppers' Amazon accounts, and is typically just a few dollars, depending on how many qualifying Kindle titles a person bought between April 1st 2010 and May 21st 2012. "We will automatically apply your available credit to your next purchase of a Kindle book or print book sold by Amazon.com, regardless of publisher," the company says. The credit is valid until March 31st of next year.
The US Department of Justice accused the five publishers of conspiring with Apple to switch the industry to an agency pricing model and artificially inflate the price of e-books. The standard price of a Kindle book was at one point $10; after Apple launched the iBookstore, though, e-books in general rose in cost by several dollars. Apple is still fighting a ruling that found it culpable, but the publishers settled before any of them were brought to trial.