OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of local Cox Cable TV subscribers could benefit from a federal jury’s decision that the company violated antitrust law by requiring set-top box rentals to view premium cable services in Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1NdPO0E ) reports that Cox required subscribers to rent its boxes on a monthly basis to receive certain types of programming. The lawsuit claimed Cox would not activate set-top boxes acquired from other sources.
A 10-person jury in Oklahoma City on Thursday announced its verdict after three days of deliberations.
“We are pleased,” plaintiff attorney Todd Schneider said. “We think that consumers always benefit from more competition. More competition equals lower prices and more innovation. So we think at the end of the day, consumers are better off. But also Cox is better off, frankly. Companies that compete do great things and Cox is going to have to compete now.”
Under the terms of the verdict, Cox subscribers from 2005-2012 could be eligible for part of the jury’s award.
Cox spokeswoman Christine Martin said the company will challenge the judgment.
“Cox is disappointed in the verdict, but gratified that the jury recognized most of the damages plaintiffs were seeking were unwarranted,” Martin said. “We’ve filed a motion to overturn the verdict and believe we have solid grounds.”
The original case was filed in 2009 on behalf of all U.S. Cox customers, but a judge in 2011 ordered that cases be separated by region.
Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com
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