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$50M Settlement In Class Action Lawsuit Against Comcast Approved By Judge

By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- More than a decade after it was filed, a class action lawsuit against Comcast that was settled last year has been approved by a federal judge in Philadelphia.

The $50 million settlement provides for a $15 cash payment to former Comcast subscribers who submitted a claim form.

Those who did the same but currently pay the cable giant for service can get a $15 bill credit or other offerings, such as six free pay-per-view movies or two free months of The Movie Channel.

In a statement, Comcast says it's "pleased the Court has approved the settlement reached at the end of last year that brings this long-running matter to closure."

The company denies the allegations that stretch back to 2003, when a lawsuit claimed that Comcast and other cable companies swapped customers to keep or gain a monopoly on a region, raise prices, and limit choice. The plaintiffs called for $875 million in damages.

A Supreme Court ruling in favor of Comcast led to the class being narrowed to about 800,000 current and former subscribers in Greater Philadelphia. The settlement approved by Judge John Padova in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals provides for $15 million in fees for lawyers.

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