Audible Settles Lawsuits

Audiobook retailer Audible has en­tered into a settlement with two class action lawsuits, Grant McKee et al. v Audible, Inc. and Eric Weber and Bryan Rees v., Inc., and Amazon Services LLC, bringing an end to 18 months of legal battles. Audible will issue up to 12 million audiobooks and reimburse as many as 8.4 million customers who incurred overdraft fees when Audible allegedly charged their cards without permission. US District Judge George H. Wu gave preliminary approval to the settlement in March 2019. The suits claimed that Audible did not properly communicate to customers that unused credits would be lost when accounts were canceled, and that gift credits would be lost when the gift membership ends. Users also sued because Audible charged payment cards that were attached to their accounts but not authorized to pay for Audible subscriptions. Audible attempted to have the claims dismissed twice, but finally agreed to settle, saying they “believe that it is in the best interests of both the Audible business and Audible’s customers to enter into the proposed settlement.” Audible users who had audiobook credits removed due to account cancellation or expiration of gift memberships may be eligible for free audiobooks. Users who suffered overdraft fees can apply for reimbursement. Audible will also pay $1.5 million in legal fees and revise its advertising and terms of service.

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