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U.S. attorneys general and major U.S. publishers reach settlement

Details on the settlement have been released concerning Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and 55 attorneys general from throughout the U.S. in the ongoing lawsuit over ebook pricing.

The terms of the deal state that consumers who bought ebooks from the five publishers involved (the aforementioned three, as well as Penguin and Macmillan) between April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012 will receive reimbursement in the amount of more than $69 million (U.S.).

The publishers will also pay $7.5 million (U.S.) to the states to cover costs, and have agreed to change their pricing structures moving forward. The publishers agreed to settle with the U.S. government earlier this spring, and announced in April they would drop the agency model for a period of two years.

In one of today’s press releases on the subject, Connecticut attorney general George Jepsen states:

While publishers are entitled to their profits, consumers are equally entitled to a fair and open marketplace. This settlement will provide restitution to those customers who were harmed by this price-fixing scheme, but it also will restore competition in the eBook market for consumers’ long-term benefit.

Penguin, Macmillan, and Apple have not agreed to settle, and the cases are still pending.