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CD antitrust settlement approved

Under the $143 million settlement signed Thursday by a federal judge, participants in the music price-fixing suit would get about $12.60 each.

A federal judge has approved a settlement of a lawsuit filed on behalf of millions of record club members who alleged they had been overcharged in a price-fixing conspiracy. Under the settlement signed Wednesday by U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby, the CD buyers will receive vouchers to give them 75 percent discounts for new compact discs, which they will receive with no shipping or handling charges.

SOME MEMBERS will be eligible for as many as three discounts, said an attorney for the plaintiffs, Michael Jaffe.

Hornby approved a $143 million settlement in a related lawsuit last July that accused major record companies and large music retailers of conspiring to set minimum music prices. Under that settlement, 3.5 million people are to receive checks for $12.60, and libraries and schools across the country will get $75.7 million worth of music CDs.

The lawsuit was signed by the attorneys general of 43 states and territories and consolidated in Portland in October 2000.

Defendants included Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music Distribution, Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Corp., Universal Music Group and Bertelsmann Music Group, as well as retailers Tower Records, Musicland Stores and Transworld Entertainment.

In agreeing to the settlement, the companies denied any wrongdoing.

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