e-book buyers receiving supplemental credits regarding e-book lawsuit involving Apple, others

A supplemental distribution of credits has been approved regarding the e-books settlement case involving Apple. As of today, those affected will have a new automatic credit in their Apple account. 

You can use your credit online for the purchase of products or services sold by Apple on iBooks, iTunes, or the App Store. If your account doesn’t reflect this credit, contact Apple’s customer service.

Unlike prior distributions, this credit is valid for only six months and will expire on April 20, 2018. This is the only official notice you will receive regarding this credit, so you should use it as soon as possible. In order to view or spend your credit, please visit iBooks, iTunes or the App Store and login to your account. If you have questions, click here.

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Let's back up and look at the history of the whole matter. In April 2012 the United States Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, Hachette SA, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster in New York district court, claiming collusion over ebook pricing. The brouhaha centers on Apple’s move to change the way that publishers charged for e-books as it prepared to introduce its first iPad in 2010.

Traditionally, publishers sold books to retailers for roughly half of the recommended cover price. Under that “wholesale model,” booksellers were then free to offer those books to customers for less than the cover price if they wished.

Apple suggested moving to an “agency model,” under which the publishers would set the price of the book and Apple would take a 30% cut. However, Apple also insisted that publishers couldn’t let rival retailers sell the same book at a lower price.