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February 19, 2004

113,000 Iowans About to Receive CD Payments Totaling Almost $1.6 Million

Iowans filed at the fastest pace in the nation.
Refunds will be $13.86 per person.

DES MOINES.   Attorney General Tom Miller said today that 113,882 Iowans soon will receive a check for $13.86 apiece for a refund in the "CD" compact disc antitrust case. As a whole the Iowans are slated to receive $1,578,404.52. About 3.5 million Americans soon will receive the $13.86 refund.

The Iowans filed claims for the refund by a deadline last March, Miller said, but the distribution was held up by several appeals that were filed. "Now the appeals have finally been addressed and resolved, and the claims administrator is about ready to post people's checks," Miller said.

The refunds are being 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.

Approximately 3.5 million Americans filed claims by the deadline last March 3, 2003. Iowans filed over 3% of all online claims filed nationwide, compared to Iowa's 1% share of the nation's population. Iowa ranks 31st in population (counting Puerto Rico), but only ten much larger states will be receiving more CD refunds.

"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, and Iowans took advantage of it."

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.

Judge D. Brock Hornby of the Federal District Court of Maine approved the settlement on June 13, 2003, but appeals delayed the distribution. The Settlement Administrator now says all administrative work that was necessary before being able to mail the payments has been finished, and that persons who filed claims soon will be receiving a check in the mail.

For updates and complete settlement information, consumers are advised to visit the Settlement Administrator web site.

The Settlement Administrator states that payments will be mailed beginning Friday, February 20, to persons who filed valid claims. The Administrator says that two weeks should be allowed for delivery. Persons who wish to contact the Administrator about a payment should write to the following address: Compact DISC MAP Antitrust Litigation Administrator, P.O. Box 1650, Faribault, Minnesota 55021-1650.

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