Sirius XM Radio faces a class action claim that it violates antitrust laws. Before Sirius merged with its only competitor XM, it stated that the merger wouldn’t increase the price of satellite radio subscriptions.
According to a complaint filed by subscribers in 2009, however, within 6 months of the merger, Sirius XM raised the subscription price by nearly 30% and implemented new additional charges, including Internet access and music royalty fees (MRF). Sirius XM has argued that it was an FCC-regulated entity and claimed that the FCC approved of the MRF. In fact, however, the FCC did no such thing.
Approximately 20 million subscribers are seeking $1 billion in damages and a court order that bars Sirius XM from further antitrust violations. Such a court order can take various forms, including freezing rate increases in the future or even breaking up the company. The trial is scheduled to start on May 2.
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