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Harddrive
Proud American and Infidel since 1968.
Premium
join:2000-09-20
DFW
kudos:2

1 edit

[Merger Info] Class Action Suit

i just got the email. guess it's official now. there were rumors that it was going to happen.
maybe Mel will get fired after this is all over.




and after looking at the settlement terms, it looks like SXM is getting out with barely a scratch. "As part of the proposed Settlement, Sirius XM has agreed not to raise the price of its base subscription plan and certain other prices through the end of 2011." so the lawyers make all the money. go figure. typical money grab without anyone owning up to anything. and the actual subscribers get what? no rate increases through the end of the year. big freakin' deal.
--
Life is a funny thing. Death is even funnier as long as it doesn't happen to you.


Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1

Really whooptie freaking do. We still are stuck with lower quality audio, annoying DJs and repeating playlists.



J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to Harddrive

In other words, we get nuthing...



runnoft
Premium
join:2003-10-14
Deerfield, IL
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to Harddrive

said by Harddrive:

maybe Mel will get fired after this is all over.

Fired?! I bet they increase Mel's bonus package when this is all over. SXM's board will be more pleased than angry with Mel over this. You've lost sight of what really happened here. This whole thing--from start to finish--was a great deal for SXM's stockholders. Certainly not a great deal for their subscribers, but for the corporate entity.

The RIAA sued SXM to collect royalties. SXM settled that suit, agreeing to pay royalties. SXM charged their customers more than the monthly royalty fee they were paying RIAA. What SXM said at the time they imposed the for-profit royalty fee was, Well we have to make up past royalties as part of the settlement. What SXM did not say they would do (and of course did not or will not do) was roll back the royalty fee to the actual ongoing royalty fees they are paying RIAA once they had paid off that past due amount. It's totally unregulated. And it's profitable for SXM.

In effect by settling with RIAA and inflating the fee, SXM got an illegal rate increase. The under-the-table rate increase was illegal for a time because SXM promised the feds at the time the merger was approved to not increase subscription rates for a period of time which if I remember correctly expires sometime this year. That was the basis for a slam dunk class action suit to force SXM to refund the profitable portion of the royalty fee to those customers paying them. From the POV of the subscriber, we're not talking big money here. It's about $0.50 - $1.00 per month covering only the brief period of time between paying off past-due charges from the RIAA until the merger agreement not to raise rates expires. But in the context of 20 million subscribers, it's significant cash for SXM.

So, predictably, SXM gets sued over the illegal rate increase. Lawyers for a plaintiff get it ruled as a class action. And then they settle. Did they settle for a refund to customers of profitable fees? Nope. They settled for something that cost SXM almost nothing and is worth the same nothing to SXM subscribers who paid an illegal rate increase. And who pays both sides' legal bills for the class action suit under the settlement? SXM does.

What SXM did here was engineer both sides (RIAA vs. subscribers) of this dispute in their favor. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if SXM itself was not behind this class action suit, because what it did in effect was make it impossible for subscribers to recover the illegal rate increase.


r81984
Fair and Balanced
Premium
join:2001-11-14
Katy, TX
Reviews:
·row44
reply to Harddrive

Why are they not refunding the royalty fee, extra radio fee, and the internet fee if they agreed it violated antitrust laws?
I paid that royalty fee for all of 2010. It was like $10 for the year.

It does look like everyone needs to renew in december to ensure they can keep their current rates for as long as possible.

Wow, the lawyers made $13 million dollars for this.
--
Your behavior is inconsistent with your desire to be treated like everyone else.



runnoft
Premium
join:2003-10-14
Deerfield, IL
kudos:1
reply to Harddrive

said by r81984:

Why are they not refunding the royalty fee, extra radio fee, and the internet fee if they agreed it violated antitrust laws?
I paid that royalty fee for all of 2010. It was like $10 for the year.

It does look like everyone needs to renew in december to ensure they can keep their current rates for as long as possible.

Wow, the lawyers made $13 million dollars for this.

If you have paid the royalty fee, you have grounds to object to the settlement including the $13 million. I don't think objecting will have any effect, but you never know. If enough class members take the time to file an objection, the judge may find the pretext needed to throw the settlement out.

I'm tired of these ridiculous class action suit settlements that make attorneys wealthy while doing jack for the class. The law was changed a few years ago to supposedly make it harder to rip off the class. For example, it was common four years ago to settle these suits with coupons. Now, if the class gets coupons, the attorneys are supposed to be paid for their legal fees with coupons, which of course, they don't want. So now the game they're playing is to overvalue the settlement so they can collect proportionate legal fees, and I would argue that's what happened here. For one thing, SXM had not announced a rate increase for 2011, and it is questionable whether they would have done it. Even if they had, it only would have been in place for part of the year. This settlement does not come close to making the class whole. Therefore IMO it should be tossed. What they should have to do is refund everything subscribers overpaid plus a penalty, to those subscribers.

One thing though: don't object to the settlement in writing AND write to exclude yourself from the class. If you do both, they will throw your objection out without including it in the case record because once you remove yourself from the class, you no longer have legal standing to object to the settlement. The only reason I know of to exclude yourself from the class is that you plan to sue SXM yourself, and really, that's not a good use of your time because you're talking about a few dollars on your end.