Here's what's pushing broadband's and cable's buttons today.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to reviewComcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s appeal of a class-action lawsuit that seeks US$875 million over claims that the cable giant clustered systems in Philadelphia to monopolize the market, jack up cable prices and make it tough for competitive cable overbuilders such as RCN Corp. to break in. The suit was slated to go to trial in September in Philadelphia, but now the high court will determine whether a trial court may certify a case as a class action without first requiring the plaintiffs to present evidence that it deserves that status, notes the Philadelphia Inquirer, adding that the court's final decision could "set more stringent standards in class-action lawsuits." Comcast argues that customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware don't have enough in common to sue as a group, adds Reuters.
Pressure groups wasted little time reacting (badly) to Monday's spectrum swap and sale agreement between Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US Inc. , the latter of which had previously been critical of Verizon's Wireless's recent deals with a handful of major U.S. cable operators. Public Knowledge said Verizon's "need to buy off T-Mobile" to close its cable deals "underscores just how bad this deal really is for American consumers and competition generally." The Alliance for Broadband Competition also was less than complimentary, claiming that Monday's agreement "does nothing to mitigate the fact that Verizon and [c]able want to stop competing, stop investing, and stop innovating…" For their part, Verizon Wireless and its cable partners insist that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and the MSOs will continue to compete vigorously. (See VZ Wireless/T-Mobile Spectrum Deal Has a Catch.)