The Apple/Amazon ebook feud was settled several years ago, and last year big credits started hitting people’s accounts. These were reimbursements for overpaying for ebooks at the time, determined by the price fixing contracts that had gone on between the publishers and the ebook sellers. Apparently there’s been a recalculation, because several of us at Gear Diary received an additional amount in settlement credits!
These credits work just like the last ones; you can buy anything you want at Amazon, and the credit is good for six months. There’s been a few versions of the credits, from ebook-specific credits to general store credits, and these are general store credits. So you can buy a book, or you can buy a year’s supply of cat food. As long as you use it in the next 6 months.
Now, for anyone who read this far and is confused, here is the quick rundown of the origin of these credits. In 2010, Apple announced iBooks, and more specifically, Apple stated that no one would sell ebooks for less than they did…except that Apple’s prices were all higher than what Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Kobo were offering at the time. This led to a lot of head scratching, until it was determined that the major publishers had banded together to demand what they called “agency pricing”. Effectively, they wanted to set the price for the ebooks, and the retailer was not allowed to discount any further. So if a bestseller was set by the publisher as being $15.00 for the ebook, Amazon could not sell it for $12.50; instead, everyone (Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo) had to sell the book for the same $15.00. They were also barred from using coupons, so Kobo or B&N couldn’t send you a 10% off coupon that you could use to reduce the price as a consumer. Customers were livid, as was the Justice Department, and there were settlements set with both the publishers and Apple (for instigating/pushing for the agency model). The agency model was deemed anti-consumer, and thus the settlements began. A more in-depth and legalese explanation can be found on the official settlement website, ebooklawsuits.com.
So if you tore through books on your Kindle like mad between 2010 and 2012, head to Amazon…you might find a pleasant surprise! If you did receive a credit, let us know how much in the comments, and what books you plan to buy!