U.S. Supreme Court toss class-action suit against Comcast

March 27, 2013 at 3:38 PM

WASHINGTON, March 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday ruled 5-4 in favor of Comcast in rejecting a class-action antitrust lawsuit filed by Philadelphia cable customers.

Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the opinion for the court, held the class action in the case had been improperly certified. Scalia said the U.S. Court of Appeals erred in refusing to decide whether the plaintiff class's proposed damages model could show damages on a classwide basis.

The plaintiffs in the class-action antitrust lawsuit alleged Comcast clusters their cable operations within a particular region by swapping their systems outside the region for competitor systems inside the region.

The plaintiffs said Comcast subscribers in the Philadelphia-area were harmed because Comcast's strategy lessens competition and leads to supra-competitive prices.

The Comcast subscribers sought class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, which requires that "questions of law or fact common to class members pre-dominate over any questions affecting only individual members."

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.

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