The big stories come and go so quickly. Remember the MAP (minimum advertised price) settlement story from the end of September?
- five of the largest U.S. distributors of pre-recorded music CDs and three large retailers agreed to pay millions of dollars in cash and free CDs as part of an agreement on price-fixing allegations.
The companies will pay $67,375,000 in cash, provide $75,500,000 worth of music CDs, and not engage in sales practices that allegedly led to artificially high retail prices for music CDs and reduced retail competition as part of the agreement. Tennessee’s share is an estimated $993,948 in cash and $1,507,852 in CDs.
There is now a website giving details of the case, what it means to consumers (not much – a maximum of $20 per person no matter how many CDs you bought during the period of January 1, 1995 through December 22, 2000), etc. some excerpts:
- Am I a Member of the Settlement Group?
You are a member of the Settlement Group if you are a person (or entity) in the United States or its Territories and Possessions who purchased prerecorded Music Products, consisting of compact discs, cassettes and vinyl albums, from one or more retailers during the period January 1, 1995, through December 22, 2000.
What are my Legal Rights?
How to Remain in the Settlement Group
If you are a member of the Settlement Group, you do not need to take action, although to share in the Settlement Fund you must file a Claim Form as discussed below. If the Court approves the proposed Settlement you will receive the benefits of the proposed Settlement and you will be bound by all orders and judgments of the Court and your claims against the Defendants for the conduct alleged in these actions will be resolved and released.
How to File a Claim
If you wish to file a claim you must complete the online claim form filing process on this Web site. You may also request and complete a hard-copy Claim Form by calling the toll-free number (1-877-347-4782) or writing the Claims Administrator (PO Box 1650, Faribault, MN 55021-1650). Claim Forms must be filed electronically or signed and postmarked no later than March 3, 2003.
IMPORTANT – If you are a member of the Settlement Group, you can only file one claim per person no matter how many Music Products you purchased.
How to Exclude yourself from the Settlement Group
If you do not wish to be a member of the Settlement Group, you may exclude yourself by writing to the Compact Disc MAP Antitrust Litigation Administrator as outlined in the Notice of Proposed Settlement . Your request must be postmarked no later than March 3, 2003. The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing to determine if the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate on May 22, 2003, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 2, United States Courthouse, 156 Federal Street, Portland, Maine 04101. If you remain a member of the Settlement Group, you or your counsel have the right to appear before the Court and object to the Settlement. However, you must file a Notice of Intention to Appear and Object as outlined in the Notice of Proposed Settlement. Objections must be filed by March 3, 2003.
Claim Filing Period: If you wish to file a claim you must complete the online claim form filing process on this website by 11:59 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time) on March 3, 2003. You may also request and complete a hard-copy Claim Form by calling the toll-free number (see above) or writing the Claims Administrator (see above). Hard-copy Claim Forms must be signed and postmarked no later than March 3, 2003.