Judge Allows Class Action Against Sirius-XM Merger To Proceed
March 30, 2011 at 4:20 AM (PT)
A class action suit alleging antitrust violations in the merger of SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO and XM RADIO in 2008 is being allowed to proceed, reports BLOOMBERG, but claims filed under 20 state consumer protection laws have been dismissed.
CARL BLESSING's suit, filed in 2009, was given the go-ahead by U.S. District Judge HAROLD BAER, who certified customers of the satellite services who paid the music royalty fee surcharge, an increased fee for multiple radios, or the fee for online streaming as a class. The suit alleges that the merged SIRIUSXM, a monopoly, raised rates almost 30% through the fees.
SIRIUSXM spokesman PATRICK REILLY told BLOOMBERG that the company was "heartened" by the dismissal of the state consumer protection law claims and said, "The surviving claims in this suit -- that the SIRIUS-XM merger lessened competition or led to a monopoly -- are matters that have already been passed upon by the U.S. Department of Justice and the FCC. With new competitors emerging almost daily, we continue to believe these claims are without merit and intend to vigorously defend this matter."