Antitrust Class Actions
Antitrust class actions almost always allege that two or more companies illegally (in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act) agreed to fix prices. Other cases arise when a legal monopoly such as a public utility or telecom company overcharges its consumers. In any event, these companies damage the customers by requiring the customer to pay fees that exceed what is permitted by law.
Why file an Antitrust Class Action?
Antitrust cases are well-suited for class action treatment because the wrongful or illegal behavior is usually targeted at all of a company's customers, or a large group of the customers. Sometimes, the United States Justice Department will seek to enforce anti-competitive practices. However, the Justice Department may not have an incentive to prevent the behavior, may be slow to respond, or may lack jurisdiction. In these cases, individual customers may file a suit to enforce the rights of all customers.
A recent Federal Court class action alleged that Sirius XM Radio, abused its monopoly by overcharging its customers by $89 million. Specifically, the suit alleges that Sirius XM violated the terms of its agreement with the FCC when it promised that no satellite radio subscriber would have to pay more as a result of the merger of Sirius and XM.
A recent suit against the videogame company Electronic Arts alleged that they illegally entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with the NFL, the NFL Players Union, the Arena Football League and the NCAA. The suit alleges that the agreement choked off competition and that the cost of the videogame increased by 70 percent as a result of the lack of competition.
If you have a question relating to a possible or pending antitrust class action, please send a direct message or call our office at (314) 725-4400.