Customers of Amazon’s Kindle ebook store may have awakened to a nice little surprise in their inbox this morning, an email from Amazon informing them they have credit to use in the Kindle book store.
The credits are the result of legal settlements reached with publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs over the price fixing of eBooks.
Customers who purchased ebooks between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012 are entitled to a credit of $3.17 per New York Times bestseller and $0.73 for other books.
The email from Amazon read, as follows:
Dear XXXX XXXXXXX,
Good news! You are entitled to a credit of $XX.XX for some of your past Kindle book purchases. The credit results from legal settlements reached with publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of eBooks.
You don’t have to do anything to claim your credit, we have already added your credit to your Amazon account. 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 credit applied to your purchase will appear in your order summary. If your account does not reflect this credit, please contact Amazon’s customer service.
For more information about the settlements, please visit www.amazon.com/ebooksettlements
Your credit is valid for one year and will expire after 03/31/2015. If you have not used your credit, we will send you another email 90 days before it expires to remind you that it is still available.
Thanks for being a Kindle customer.
The Amazon Kindle Team
The suit claimed that five major publishers — Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Penguin — and Apple colluded to artificially inflate the price of ebooks.
Mashable notes that only the publishers have agreed to a settlement, while Apple continues to fight the case, as it has appealed a judge’s ruling that found the company had violated antitrust laws in the case.