Need money? You may have a small credit coming from Apple soon. The company is starting to pay out damages to customers that were affected by a price-fixing lawsuit Apple lost several years ago, back when it was accused of buddying up with other companies to inflate the prices of eBooks.
The group of accused firms, some of which admitted guilt (Apple never did), will pay $400 million to customers. That payout is “equal to twice purchasers’ losses,” according to law firm Hagens Berman. You may notice a small credit on your iTunes account of just $6.93 if you purchased a New York Times bestseller during Apple’s alleged price-fixing run, or a smaller $1.57 credit for books that weren’t as popular. This is per book, however, so bookworms could walk away with a pretty solid payday.
Credits aren’t just limited to Apple. Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Amazon are all offering credits too, but Apple users are already noticing them. Keep in mind that you don’t need to stick with the credit, which obviously puts the money right back into the system that was accused of stealing it from you. Hagens Berman says purchasers can request a check “in lieu of a credit,” but only if you’ve been following along and opted out from receiving a credit in the first place.
“To make this settlement effective and accessible for consumers, our team faced a sizable undertaking that entailed almost constant contact with the retailers to make sure the credits will be applied to consumer accounts across the country,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “This is the second round of distribution in the case, and we believe the only case in the country to have so much money returned directly to consumers.”
If you’re eligible, you should receive an alert (or may already have) for the credit soon.