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Attorneys general join $69M electronic book deal

The Associated Press, Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 3:59pm (PDT)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Attorneys general in 55 jurisdictions who claim there was a conspiracy to fix prices of electronic books say they've gotten on board with a $69 million settlement of antitrust claims against three publishers.

Publishers Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Shuster had earlier settled with the U.S. government.

News releases from attorneys general in 55 states, districts and territories Wednesday said $69 million will be paid to consumers who bought electronic books from the publishers between April 1, 2010, and May 21. Payments are to begin a month after a court approves the deal.

The publishers also will pay $7.5 million to the states to cover costs. A variation of the settlement was announced in April, but attorneys general in many states hadn't joined in.

Hachette denied it was in a conspiracy but said it changed its pricing structure.

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