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Smart Buying

Refunds on the Way for Amex Customers, E-Book Buyers

A government crackdown will put money back in some consumers' pockets.

Ruchika Budhraja, an attorney in Washington, D.C., loves her Kindle, but she tries to limit purchases to two e-books a month. Soon, she may be able to add to her virtual library at no cost. Last August, the U.S. Department of Justice charged several publishers with conspiring to boost prices of e-books. Without admitting or denying the charges, the publishers agreed to refund $69 million to consumers who bought e-books between April 2010 and May 2012. In addition to Kindle owners, consumers who bought e-books from Barnes & Noble’s Nook Books and Apple’s iBooks are eligible.

A final hearing on the settlement is scheduled for February. If it’s approved, buyers are expected to receive $1.32 for each New York Times bestseller and 30 cents for all other books. Find details at https://ebooksagsettlements.com.

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Another settlement could put extra cash in the accounts of about 250,000 American Express customers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says an Amex subsidiary misled customers who signed up for Amex’s Blue Sky credit card program. Those customers are eligible for a $300 credit or check by March 15. For details, go to www.consumerfinance.gov.

This article first appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. For more help with your personal finances and investments, please subscribe to the magazine. It might be the best investment you ever make.

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