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E-book Settlement Starting to be Distributed in Ohio and 32 Other States

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 5:25 PM

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Photo by Alexander Pfeiffenberger on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/21185523@N03/5961117143

Ohioans who bought e-books between April 2010 and May 2012 may soon be seeing e-mails that could make them suspicious, but actually do mean they’re owed money.

A settlement over price-fixing reached in 2012 with several e-book publishers and 33 states, including Ohio, is starting to be distributed.

Dan Tierney with the state attorney general’s office said $4.7 million will be going out to Ohioans who bought e-books, and they should find out about their shares of that pot shortly.

“Consumers should start receiving communications from the entity that they purchased e-books from,” Tierney said.  “We’ve anecdotally heard that some consumers who bought from Amazon.com for example, have started receiving emails about credits to their account pursuit to this settlement.”

Tierney said it would be easy to dismiss those emails as scams, but he notes that email is a key way those e-book retailers will communicate with buyers entitled to account credits or checks.

Four e-book publishers settled with the states for $166 million, but Apple declined to settle the case against it. A judge ruled Apple played a central role in price-fixing, and a second trial will be held to determine how much Apple will pay in damages. That means more money could be coming to Ohio e-book buyers in the future.

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