The $3.17 Email is NOT a Scam! Why Amazon May Have Given You a Little Green

If you’ve bought a bestseller in the form of an ebook from a major publisher between April 2010 and May 2012, you may have gotten a little bonus in your Amazon account today.

Here’s an explanation from Time Magazine’s blog:

“The money is the result of an Apple eBooks anti-trust settlement between various publishers and the Department of Justice. Publishers and Apple were accused of conspiring to fix select ebook prices when the iBookstore launched. Apple is still fighting the suit but publishers decided to settle.

“Thus, anyone who bought an ebook from HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, or Macmillan between April 2010 and May 2012 that made it onto the New York Times bestsellers list got a $3.17 refund. Non-bestsellers got 73 cents. (Minnesotans received $3.93 and 94 cents.) The refund has already been automatically added to customers’ Amazon accounts.”

The settlement shows up as a credit to your Amazon account, and you can use it to purchase any books (traditional and digital), but not other purchases. Have questions? Amazon has a pretty thorough FAQ that explains a lot more detail. They point out they are not a party to the Justice Department’s case, just a channel for distributing the settlement money.

NOTE: is a BBB Accredited Business.

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About Katherine Hutt

Katherine R. Hutt, Director of Communications and Media Relations with the Council of Better Business Bureaus, is an award-winning communicator who has been helping nonprofit organizations tell their stories for the past 25 years. She was a CBBB consultant on numerous projects for more than a decade before joining the staff in 2011.