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Amazon Customers Could Receive $3 Refund On Select Kindle Books (AMZN)

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Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) customers who purchased an e-book between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012 could receive a refund for nearly $4.

This is a result of the legal action that was taken against Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and five book publishers who were accused of colluding to raise prices.

Apple has fought the charges since the say they were filed, but the book publishers -- CBS' (NYSE: CBS) Simon & Schuster, News Corp.'s (NYSE: NWS) HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Hachette Book Group -- agreed to settle.

As part of the settlement, publishers will have to return money to customers who were thought to have overpaid for an e-book.

According to The Wall Street Journal, customers will receive an estimated $0.73 to $3.82 for select Kindle books. These numbers are reportedly higher than Amazon's previous estimate.

Customers will not receive their refunds right away, however. The settlements still need approval, and the courts may not make a decision before December. When the decision comes, Amazon will notify its customers that the automatic return credits have been applied.

Related: Apple May Have Caught Another Break In E-Book Pricing Scandal

Amazon may be against an Apple-led price hike, but it has no qualms about reducing its own discounts for physical books.

In July, The New York Times reported that Amazon has greatly reduced the number of discounts it offers on online. This is due to the sharp decrease in competition. With consumers slowly leaving Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), Books-A-Million (NASDAQ: BAMM) and other traditional booksellers, Amazon has fewer reasons to lower its prices.

Last month Amazon.com endured a massive outage that took the site down for more than 30 minutes. Unlike the Amazon Web Services issue last Christmas -- which crippled Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) -- this outage only prevented consumers from shopping.

In preparing for the third-generation Kindle Fire (which could be unveiled this month), Amazon has repeatedly offered steep discounts on its current line of tablets. The company is rumored to be building a smartphone, but it is not yet known when the unconfirmed device will be released.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Amazon Amazon Web Services Amazon.com Apple CBS Hachette Book Group HarperCollins Kindle Macmillan Netflix News Corp. Penguin Simon & Schuster The Wall Street JournalNews Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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