The refunds will be made in connection with an antitrust case filed by states alleging that major music distributors and
retailers illegally kept CD prices artificially high for several years.
The claims report dated March 12 indicates that over 3.5 million Americans filed claims for refunds before last week's
deadline. About 97% of claims were filed online, the others by mail.
Iowans filed about 3.2% of all online claims filed nationwide, compared to Iowa's 1% share of the nation's population.
"Iowans filed at a faster clip than anywhere else in the nation," Miller said. "Our news media did a great job telling Iowans
about this excellent opportunity."
If valid claims hold at about 3.5 million nationwide, the refund amount will be about $12.50 per person -- or over $1.3
million overall to Iowans. The claims administrator for the project still must validate claims and eliminate duplicates.
After that, the results must be presented for approval to the judge handling the case. [For status of payments, see footnote
There was a huge influx of claims filed online during the last two weeks, including more than 600,000 nationwide and over
34,000 by Iowans since the Feb. 24 report. Iowa ranks 31st in population (counting Puerto Rico), but only ten much larger
states filed more CD refund claims.
The payments result from settlement of an antitrust case in which Iowa and other states alleged that the nation's top
distributors of recorded music and three large retailers entered into illegal conspiracies to maintain minimum prices for CDs
and other recorded music. The suit alleged the defendants acted illegally to stop other retailers from offering CDs at
discount prices. The States' action was aimed at restoring competition in the industry.
* Update as of September 2003:
The District Court approved the process and release of funds after the close of the claims period. However, several appeals
were filed at that time challenging various aspects of the Court's order. The appeals are holding up further administration of
the settlement and payment of claims because of the possibility that the Appellate Court might order that aspects of the
settlement be changed or re-evaluated.
We still expect that Iowa claimants will receive about $12 apiece when funds are distributed. The States and other parties
are pressing for an expedited appeal process, and the court at this point appears receptive to that proposal. This web site
(www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.org) will be updated as new information develops about the payment of claims.
** Update as of December 2003:
Attorney General Home | News Release Home
All but one of the appeals have been dismissed. (None of the appeals were
by major parties in the matter -- the music industry or the states --
and the remaining appeal is by an inmate in a Georgia prison.) The appeals
delayed the refund process a little but did not derail it. We still fully
expect payments will be made, we just cannot predict when.