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Kindle users could get refunds on e-books

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Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2012 12:49 am

Users of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader may get some cash back if a judge approves legal settlements between three major publishers and the attorneys general of mostof the United States.

Owners could be entitled to refunds for e-books purchased from April 1, 2010, to May 21, according to an email sent to customers from the Amazon Kindle Team.

Due to inflated prices of e-books, customers may receive 30 cents to $1.32 for each eligible purchase.

Although Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster deny doing anything wrong, they have settled a lawsuit that makes a $69 million fund to give credit back to consumers.

Jonathan Cohen, a UF law professor, said a judge has grounds to sign this order because both parties have worked at a settlement, and it is enforceable. In this case, he said, it’s the court’s decision.

If passed, the lawsuit would also limit publishers’ ability to set e-book prices.

Brooke Giuliano, a 20-year-old environmental management in agriculture and natural resources junior, said students probably didn’t realize prices were inflated. She said e-books are usually cheaper than in stores, sometimes about 40 percent less.

If prices were lower, she said, she’d be willing to buy more e-books.

“If ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ was cheaper,” she said, “I’d just buy it rather than borrow it.”

The email said customers will receive credit to their Amazon.com accounts, or they can request checks.

The hearing that will determine the outcome of the lawsuit will take place Feb. 8.

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