Skip to comments.$20 for CD purchasers
Posted on 01/21/2003 11:12:27 AM PST by tje
Time is running out for music lovers to get money for nothing. If you bought a CD in the last five years, you could get $20. But you have to ask. In an-out of court price fixing settlement, record companies are required to give 44 million in cash back to consumers. Many consumers we talked to at Electric Fetus were unaware they were eligible.
The easiest way to make a claim is on the internet, at www.musiccdsettlement.com No receipt is necessary. All you have to do is answer three questions. One catch: if more than 8 million people apply, no cash will go out, and it will go to non-profit groups.
The legal notices have only appeared in a few places like TV Guide. The deadline is March 3rd. You must apply by then. There's also of toll free number at 877-347-4782.
Surprised I never heard of this previously.
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We played this game with video tapes years ago. At $100 per copy for a video tape, nobody was stupid enough to purchase one. Even today, you still see the FBI warning before the movie starts.
Once the movie industry realized that they could make huge profits by selling video tapes at a reasonable price, did we see a change.
I honestly wish that American Citizens could file a class action lawsuit against the music industry. What they are doing today is simply criminal.
RALPH RADFORD/The Associated Press
If you're a CD lover like Aliza Arias of Seattle, you could get up to $20. Five CD distributors and three retailers agreed to pay $143 million to settle allegations they cheated CD buyers by fixing prices.
BONUS FOR CD BUYERS IGNORED
Few people apply for settlement in price-fixing case
Suppose someone was handing out $20 bills and few people wanted one?
That's roughly what's happening with a massive price-fixing settlement involving states and compact disc companies.
The deal calls for payments of as much as $20 for customers who bought CDs between 1995 and 2000. So far, only a few people have signed up, and officials fear the money will go begging.
In September, the five top U.S. distributors of compact discs and three large music retailers agreed to pay $143 million in cash and CDs to settle allegations they cheated CD buyers by fixing prices.
The lawsuit alleged that the companies -- upset with low prices charged by some stores -- conspired with retailers to set music prices at a minimum level, effectively raising the retail prices for CDs.
Part of the settlement -- about $44 million in cash -- is earmarked to pay customers from $5 to $20, depending on how many people wind up dividing the money.
By the end of December, only about 30,000 people nationwide had applied for a piece of the pie, a tiny fraction of the number the settlement could handle.
"The response thus far has been fairly abysmal," said Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire. She was among the attorneys general of 41 states and commonwealths who accused record companies of conspiring with music distributors to boost the prices of CDs between 1995 and 2000.
The companies settled rather than wage a costly legal battle.
The settlement's Web site has been up for more than a month, and legal notices have been published in TV Guide, Parade and other national magazines. But the response rate has been low, said Tina Kondo, a senior assistant attorney general in Gregoire's office.
"I guess people don't like to read legal notices," Kondo said.
Gregoire and other officials hope a radio commercial campaign will boost interest in the settlement.
Anyone who bought CDs, cassette tapes or vinyl records at stores between 1995 and 2000 is eligible. The application window closes March 3.
You don't even need receipts to prove you bought CDs. Just click to the settlement's Web site, answer three questions, and fill in your name and address. But don't try to recoup the entire cost of your music collection -- only one claim per customer.
Although 41 states took on the music companies, people in all 50 states are eligible for the cash.
There is one catch. If more than about 8.8 million people apply, the per-person share would drop below $5, so the customer part of the settlement would be canceled, because sending out such small checks would be too expensive.
Instead, the money will go to public entities and nonprofit organizations in each state to promote music programs. The settlement already calls for those organizations to receive 5.5 million CDs valued at $75.7 million.
The music distributors participating in the deal are Bertelsmann Music Group, EMI Music Distribution, Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Corp., Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. Also included in the deal are three national retail chains: Trans World Entertainment, Tower Records and Musicland Stores, a division of Best Buy Co. Inc.
-- Paul Queary/The Associated Press
I'd almost rather they had to give the money to charity because too many signed up as opposed to not enough signing up and they keep the excess.