Comcast Settlement

by Heins Mills & Olson on September 29, 2015

On September 22, 2015, Judge John R. Padova (E.D. Pa.) granted final approval to a settlement of a hard-fought lawsuit spanning over eleven years. Co-Lead Counsel Heins Mills & Olson brought the action in 2003 on behalf of Philadelphia cable subscribers alleging Comcast monopolized the cable TV market in the Philadelphia area and restrained trade by dividing markets and customers through swaps and acquisitions with its competitors and other anticompetitive conduct that suppressed competition, resulting in higher prices (overcharges) for class members. The firm achieved the settlement after overcoming motions to compel arbitration, conducting extensive discovery, presenting expert witness testimony, and advocating for our clients in repeated motions before the District Court and trips to the Third Circuit and Supreme Court on class certification issues. The settlement, valued at $50 million, provides cash payments of $15 to former subscribers, and to current subscribers a $15 bill credit or a choice of free Comcast services valued from $35.94 to $43.90 depending on the option chosen by the class member. In finding that the settlement was fair and reasonable under established criteria governing class action settlements, the court remarked, "We find that [the] skill, efficiency, expertise and professionalism of all counsel involved in this litigation have been exemplary." The court also approved plaintiff's request for a service award in the amount of $10,000 to class representative Stanford Glaberson in recognition of his many years of dedicated service benefiting the settlement class. The case exemplifies the firm's persistence in staying the course, striving to protect and advocating for the interests of its clients through years of dedicated service to the class.