p2pnet news | TV:- Fourteen 14 cable and satellite subscribers from across the US have lodged a huge class-action suit against the major cable programmers and operators, whom they call a cartel, for allegedly violating anti-trust laws by bundling programming.
NBC Universal; The Walt Disney Co; Fox Entertainment; Time Warner; Comcast Cable Communications; Cox Communications; The DirecTV Group; Echostar Satellite; Charter Communications; and, Cablevision Systems Corp.
Through anti-trust lawyer Maxwell M. Blecher, subscribers say they’ve been “deprived of choice, have been required to purchase product they do not want and have paid inflated prices for cable-television programming,” says Broadcast Newsroom, going on:
“The suit seeks treble damages, citing the alleged antitrust violations, explaining that ‘contracts between the programmer defendants and the cable and direct-broadcast satellite providers constitute a combination among and between the named defendants to monopolize trade and commerce in the relevant product market,’ in violation of the Sherman Act.
Blecher says subscribers should pay only for channels they actually want to watch, states Associated Press, adding:
“Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin has said such a system would require federal legislation.
“The cable TV industry has argued that such an a la carte system would lead to higher prices, less programming diversity and fewer channels in part because advertising revenue would fall. Such a system also would require more customer service representatives and raise the costs of billing and marketing, the industry has said.
“Blecher’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and wants the court to force cable operators to tell subscribers they can purchase channels individually.
“Blecher estimated as many as 80 million people receive bundled cable or satellite television packages and could be a party to the case should it receive class-action status.”
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