San Diego -- Cox Communications Inc. may escape a
class-action suit in California over the practice of requiring consumers to subscribe to
basic cable in order to access premium products.
In an oral, preliminary decision, Judge Michael Bollman of
the California Superior Court in San Diego said jurisdiction over the issue falls with the
Federal Communications Commission, and not with a state court.
Attorneys for consumers in San Diego asked for a hearing on
the preliminary decision, which occurred after deadline Friday.
A handful of subscribers to the MSO's San Diego
operation sued, alleging that the buy-through strategy artificially inflates rates. They
sought to have the complaint heard as a class action, which asks for $5,000 per Cox
customer in California.
Another suit on the same issue is pending in Florida.