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Lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio Settled – Plaintiffs Not Pleased

September 1, 2011
Colson Hicks Eidson

The plaintiffs may not have liked it, but a federal judge approved the settlement in the class action lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio, Inc. Bloomberg.com reported last week that some class members did not like the settlement because it did not pay them very much as plaintiffs. The settlement totals $180 million, but the plaintiffs receive no cash in the deal.

The lawsuit stems from allegations that Sirius violated federal antitrust law by raising subscription prices after it acquired XM Radio in 2008. It also instituted a music royalty fee and did not win approval of the merger from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which it said it would do. For its part, Sirius said the price increases were to cover higher operating costs.

The price increases were a $2.00 increase for an additional Sirius radio, which is now $8.99 a month. Internet access for subscribers used to be free, but it now costs a $2.99 fee. The music royalty fee for subscribers is $1.98 per month.

What the settlement boils down to for class members is that they can renew their Sirius subscriptions and get one month of free service. They also will not have to pay the re-activation fee. Not the big payout the plaintiffs hoped for, but a settlement nonetheless.

Colson Hicks Eidson – Florida class action lawyers