On Monday, a satellite radio subscriber has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio Inc. alleging that the Sirius XM merger has created an abusive monopoly that "has harmed competition and injured customers." The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, claims that Sirius XM Radio has raised prices "above competitive levels" and failed to increase consumer program choices despite its commitments to regulators.
"The company's illegal and deceptive conduct has harmed competition and injured customers in the (satellite digital audio radio service) market in the United States," the complaint said.
The lawsuit claims that Sirius XM has used its monopoly power to raise fees not governed by the FCC's order when it approved the Sirius and XM merger - such as fees for multi-radio subscribers. It also claims the company violated federal antitrust laws and state consumer protection statutes.
The suit states a multi-radio subscriber with one additional radio has seen their subscription fees increase by 40 percent since the merger. This was never ordered by the FCC, which mandated that Sirius XM commit to not to raise prices of its basic package for 36 months after the merger was completed.
The complaint was filed on behalf of Carl Blessing, a Florida resident and Sirius XM subscriber, by law firms Grant & Eisenhofer PA in New York and Cook, Hall & Lampros LLP in Atlanta. The lawsuit is also seeking class-action status.
[Wall Street Journal]
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