Cases & Deals

SiriusXM Radio resolves antitrust class action litigation related to 2008 merger

Clients Sirius XM Radio Inc.

Jones Day defended Sirius XM Radio Inc. against a class action, treble damages lawsuit filed by satellite radio subscribers, claiming that the 2008 merger of satellite radio providers Sirius and XM violated the antitrust laws and that after the merger the company had imposed certain allegedly anticompetitive price increases. Plaintiffs further claimed that SiriusXM breached its subscriber agreements and violated several states' consumer protection laws in connection with the company's disclosures to its subscribers regarding a music royalty fee.

Jones Day was successful in efforts to pare the claims throughout the course of the litigation, ultimately leading to a favorable settlement. First, the court dismissed the breach of contract claims on the pleadings. SiriusXM then defeated class certification on the plaintiffs' consumer protection act claims and on their request for injunctive relief. SiriusXM also won summary judgment on the consumer protection claims, pursuant to which the plaintiffs were seeking upwards of $465 million in alleged damages. On the federal antitrust claims, which were certified for a classwide trial, plaintiffs sought nearly $1.5 billion in trebled damages. In August 2011, the court approved a classwide settlement agreement that disposed of the antitrust claims, on terms that require SiriusXM not to raise the existing price of its base subscription packages and certain other charges for the remainder of 2011.

Certain class members challenged the settlement in nine separate appeals, which were consolidated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Second Circuit rejected the challenges in December 2012 and affirmed the trial court's approval of the settlement.

Blessing v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., No. 1:09-cv-10035 (S.D.N.Y.), aff'd, No. 11-3696 (2d Cir. 2012)

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