According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, federal district judge John Padova has signed off on Comcast's $50 million settlement of a more than decade-old class action lawsuit, challenging the practice of swapping and clustering cable systems (in the Adelphia, AT&T and other deals) on anti-trust grounds.
Comcast admitted no liability, but resolving the suit helps clear legal overhang as it tries to get the Time Warner Cable merger proposal through the regulatory gauntlet.
Comcast agreed to the settlement back in October.
The company appeared to have settled the suit once before, but backed off in 2013 after the Supreme Court agreed to hear its challenge to the suit on the grounds that a district court improperly certified the class, (give it standing to sue collectively) without looking at evidence that would determine whether the class qualifies for damages on a class-wide basis.
When the Supreme Court agreed that the class was improperly authorized, there was no settlement. But, the class was subsequently narrowed.
This time around, the settlement was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
In it, Comcast will give current Philly cluster subs either a one-time credit of $15 dollars off their bill--cash if they are no longer subscribers--which will be considered a cash election, or settlement credit good for "six free pay-per-view movies (an estimated $35.94 value); or (b) for customers who also subscribe to Xfinity® high speed internet service, four months free upgrade in Internet service from Performance Level to Blast!® service (an estimated $40 value); or one free month upgrade from Blast!® service to Extreme 105 service (an estimated $38 value); or (c) two (2) free months of The Movie Channel (an estimated $43.90 value)."
They will have a year to redeem the credits. If no election is made, members of the class automatically get two free months of The Movie Channel.