Start looking for your Apple e-book settlement payout

Start looking for your Apple e-book settlement payout

Some, perhaps many, of the readers of this blog are going to start seeing payouts from the Department of Justice’s action against Apple for e-book pricing tactics.

This is in addition to a payout you may have received previously. There was more than one legal action (many of the states’ Attorneys General also settled with publishers). The DoJ originally went after 5 of the then Big 6 publishers (not Random House, who initially didn’t go along with the “Agency Model”)…there are only 5 of them left after Penguin and Random House combined (not, unfortunately, using my suggested name of “Random Penguin”). 😉 The publishers settled; Apple fought it and eventually did not prevail (and that might have been affected by the absence on the US Supreme Court).

I’m not seeing anything on Amazon’s site yet, at least about this new payout (the previous payout is on a Help page).  I would expect that we will get e-mails about it.

Here’s the

press release

from Hagens Berman the “…consumer-rights class-action law firm” which worked with the DoJ and Attorneys General in this case.

If you took the payout last time, you should just automatically get it this time (if you are entitled to one).

How much you get depends on what you bought, when you bought it, and where. It could be pretty substantial, though. It’s $6.93 for a qualifying New York Times bestseller and $1.57 for other e-books.

My understanding is that how you use the credit will not be mandated…you won’t have to spend it on e-books, although many of you will. 🙂

I’ll be curious: I’d appreciate it if you comment on this post to let me and my readers know when you get an Amazon e-mail about this.

Oh, and for my readers outside the USA (I have readers all around the world), this doesn’t impact you, since it was a legal action inside the USA.

Enjoy your settlement money! So many options! The Big 5 will probably get a short term benefit from this…but it would be interesting if consumers chose to buy books from other companies, or perhaps they can use the money for

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

and read and discovered a lot of non-Big 5 authors. 😉 Not sure it will even be an option, but that might be a good way to test out KU (if you are comfortable with how authors get paid…I’m sure not all of my readers are).

Update: I’ve gotten my e-mail…I’m pleased with just over $40! Amazon chose to indicate that the e-mail was copyrighted, so I won’t reproduce it for you (if an e-mail is not indicated as private or otherwise protected, my understanding is that the recipient can reproduced it without permission…again, just my understanding of it). The key things are that it shows up as a credit in your account, and although they direct you to the Kindle store, it does appear that it would work for things that a gift card would generally do (not periodicals, but most things). You have one year to use, according to the e-mail, by order of the court. By the time I looked at it, it was gone. 🙂 A Subscribe & Save order (we love that…we “subscribe” to physical items we get regularly, like dog food and toothpaste, and get a 15% discount) and another order took it. So, it did behave like a regular gift card.

Several of my readers have reported their amounts (see the comments)…thanks, readers! They’ve ranged from $1.57 to close to $200.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


30 Responses to “Start looking for your Apple e-book settlement payout”

  1. Zebras Says:


    I have a gift card balance of $15.70 that appeared today. This is the only reason why I might have a balance at all. But I can’t imagine them posting balances before they e-mail people to tell them the balance is going to be posted?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Zebras!

      The processing takes different amount of time, I believe. Usually, you batch e-mails, for several reasons…so they might have started them both at the same time and it would take much longer for everybody to get the e-mails than for them to get the credits.

  2. Zebras Says:


    Just got the e-mail from Amazon about the credit being for the settlement.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Zebras!

      Looks like your comments were about two hours apart…that does seem like a lot but I can see it happening!

  3. Sherri Marx Says:

    My email came this morning. Woo hoo! According to Amazon this is limited to ebook purchases, but spending money on books has never been a problem, so no worries on that front. 🙂

    • Sherri Marx Says:

      Update: The note I got did only mention ebooks, but it is correct that this one is a generic gift card and not the same ebook only type that I received from the previous settlement. Even better.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Sherri!

      I didn’t see anything that limited it to e-books in e-mail…just a “please” to go to the bookstore, although it said “or Amazon” not “on Amazon” now that I look at it.

      “In order to spend your credit, please visit the Kindle bookstore or Amazon…”

  4. Karen Says:

    My email says I will get $172 but it mentions using it in ebooks and does not mention anything else.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Karen!

      I know it’s taken me a bit of time to get back to you, but mine clearly went to other things, before I even really looked at it. Part of that was a Subscribe & Save…and then I had texted Significant Other that we got the settlement money…and some of it went that way. 😉

  5. Joe Bowers Says:

    Just got the e-mail! $1.57! Woohoo, now I can buy that Porsche I’ve been looking at!

  6. Anabel Says:

    Just received an email from Amazon with the amount of the deposit.

  7. Jackie Says:

    I received my Amazon email today (June 21st). It is a nice chunk! You are correct that it goes to an Amazon gift card to be used on anything. But this credit will expire in one year.

  8. Wendy Frazier Says:

    Wow. $63.18. (I read a lot but use the Amazon specials and public library for many of my books.). This is on top of the first settlement which wasn’t too bad either as I recall. This gives me some pause to think about the actual extent of collusion and over-pricing.

  9. Lady Galaxy Says:

    Holy Applesauce! I just got my letter from Amazon, and I have a whopping $182.72 credit from the Apple settlement. That’s way more than I got from the other settlement. I won’t quote the whole letter, but is said in part, ” As a result of this Settlement, qualifying eBook purchases from any retailer are eligible for a credit. ” That seems rather specific. Later it says “You don’t have to do anything to claim your credit, we have already added it to your Amazon account. We will automatically apply your available credit to your purchase of qualifying items through Amazon, an Amazon device or an Amazon app.” That’s less specific. Then it adds, “The credit applied to your purchase will appear as a gift card in your order summary and in your account history.” That makes me wonder if I will have to enter a code to apply it to books I purchase directly from my Kindle.

    I donated my previous windfall to the local library because I felt I had bought the books with full knowledge of what they would cost. However, I’m so unhappy with Apple for being the instigator of this whole mess that I’m going to be greedy and load up my Kindle with books that have been on my wish list forever because the prices keep going up instead of going down. First on my list, “These Are the Voyages, Volume 3.”

    • Allie D. Says:

      Donating the money to the local library was a very kind and generous idea, Lady! BUT this time around, don’t feel guilty – it’s certainly not greedy to apply the settlement money towards your own personal library! Have fun shopping 🙂

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Allie!

        This one really does feel like money we had already spent which we are getting back…maybe because I do feel like Apple was the instigator here.

  10. Karen Salmons Says:

    Just today got an email saying I have a credit for this already on my Amazon account. Mine is only $8.50 but that’s more than I had. 😋

  11. Stella Indermuehle Says:

    Literally 5 minutes after I read your email my notice came from Amazon! $7.85 was deposited in my account. They are the best!

  12. jjhitt Says:

    “You now have a credit of $25.77 in your Amazon account”.

  13. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I just got my Apple settlement payment as a credit to my Amazon account. Mine was a few pennies under $100 – far more than I expected (:grin). I don’t expect that this unanticipated largesse will in any way impact my current book buying.

    According to Goodreads, last year I read 203 books. This year I’m at 114 of a 150 objective (my goal this year is less because I figured I’d be doing a lot of non-reading things – so far that doesn’t seem to be the case).

    To add to what Lady Galaxy said above, my close reading of the same email from Amazon implies that the credit can be used for anything on the Amazon store. Nowhere in my email was there any mention of an eBook-only limitation.

    The credit is added to your account balance — so anytime you buy something from Amazon, the credit will be applied. In the billing invoice the credit will appear as a “gift card”, but none of the usual other gift card actions (like entering a code) is necessary.

    My reading of the email is that the credit will be applied automatically to anything you buy from Amazon, and that there is no way to avoid the credit being used on specific purchases — I could be wrong — presumably there will be a clarification at some point.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      Your reading of the situation has been proven by experience…I don’t think they’ll clarify it, because I think people know by now.

      I suspect that some of the money has gone for the new Kindle. That timing may not have been coincidental…they might have held the new model until the distribution.

  14. Allie D. Says:

    This is good to know!! As part of a 3 person Kindle account, I do not get the direct emails from Amazon – I rely on forwards from another account email, sending on whatever seems important.
    Apparently, THIS did not seem important to the main account holder. Sigh.

    So you see, I owe you great thanks! I only knew about it because you mentioned it, right here – which prompted me to log in, and now I am quite happy to see a fairly hefty gift balance.

    I know it’s money that I’ve already paid out but it SEEMS free 😉 Thanks again for the heads-up.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Allie!

      I’m so glad I could help you out with this! Thanks for letting me know!

  15. Robert Anderson Says:

    Only $1.57, I buy a lot of free books

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Robert!

      Yes, it’s important to note that the amounts that people are getting do not correlate to the amount they read, or even the number of books they get. A lot of it has to do with which books you get. My guess is that our approximately $40 came largely from gifts we bought for people…

  16. Mary Says:

    $163 – will be spent on ebooks.

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