Pay Up! - Record Labels, Retailers, Ordered
Three-and-a-half million music lovers are supposed to get $$$ payouts from (collectively) Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music Distribution, Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Corp., Universal Music Group and Bertelsmann Music Group; and, Retailers Tower Records, Musicland Stores and Transworld Entertainment, owe you.
Exactly how much is yet to be determined. But it'll probably be close to $13 US each.
This follows a June 14 decision by Judge D. Brock Hornby in a case that started in 1996 when attorneys general of 43 states and territories accused major record labels and large music retailers of price fixing.
"This settlement will put cash in the hands of millions of consumers and music CDs in libraries and schools throughout the country, and will ensure that the challenged distributor/retailer practices will not resume," Hornby wrote, said an AP report.
Although his ruling doesn't say exactly how much consumers will receive or when they'll get their cheques, more than 3.5 million consumers filed claims, now estimated at $12.63 each, said AP, going on that the defendants deny any wrongdoing and that attorneys representing them declined to testify in court.
Of the total settlement, $75.7 million would be distributed in the form of 5.6 million music CDs sent to libraries and schools throughout the nation.
The proposed cash settlement in the case totals $67.3 million, with roughly $44 million to be distributed to the public. The remaining cash will go toward distribution costs and legal fees.
"Hornby disapproved a settlement agreement regarding music club sales that would have been just over $1 million in cash and provided 50 percent discounts for club members on one to three new CDs," added AP. "Hornby wrote that virtually all the cash would go to attorney fees, leaving little value to club members. He added that music club defendants have not proven that they were part of any pricing conspiracy."