United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case No. 2:09-md-02034-AB
A Court authorized your Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement of this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give “final approval” to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who may be eligible for those benefits, and how to get them.
Judge Anita B. Brody of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is overseeing this class action. The Settlement resolves the cases transferred to the multi-district litigation known as In re: Comcast Corp. Set-Top Cable Television Box Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 2:09-md-02034-AB.
The persons who sue are called “Plaintiffs,” and the companies being sued, Comcast Corporation, Comcast Holdings Corporation, Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, and Comcast Cable Communications Holdings, Inc., are called collectively “Comcast.”Back To Top
The lawsuit claims that Comcast dominates the market for Premium Cable in the areas in which it operates and abuses its power by requiring consumers, as a condition of purchasing its Premium Cable services, to use and to rent the Set-Top Boxes that it distributes. The lawsuit further claims that by tying the sale of Premium Cable to the rental of its Set-Top Boxes, Comcast has substantially restricted competition in the market for the rental of Set-Top Boxes, enabling Comcast to reap supra-competitive profits from Class Members and producing significant adverse effects on interstate commerce.
Plaintiffs’ Fourth Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint includes all of Plaintiffs’ allegations in the lawsuit and is available here.
Comcast denies the claims and allegations in this lawsuit.Back To Top
In a class action, one or more people called “Plaintiffs” (James E. Deanne, William Gonzales, John Martich, and Carrie D. Cooper) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All of these people are members of the Settlement Class. One court resolves the issues for all members of the Settlement Class, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement through the process described in FAQ 15.Back To Top
The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Comcast. Instead, both sides agreed to settle this case to avoid the cost and risk of a trial. The Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Comcast did anything wrong. Comcast denies all legal claims in this case. Plaintiffs and their lawyers think the Settlement is best for all members of the Settlement Class.Back To Top
To see if you will be affected by the Settlement or if you can get a payment from it, you first have to determine if you are a member of the Settlement Class. The Court decided that the Settlement Class includes all persons who:
And paid Comcast a rental fee for a Set-Top Box at any time during the Class Period.
The Class Period is from January 1, 2005 to September 5, 2018.
If you are unsure whether you opted out of Comcast’s arbitration clause, then you may call the toll-free number at 1-888-748-8055 or email info@SetTopBoxSettlement.com to determine whether you are recorded as an arbitration clause opt-out within the arbitration clause opt-out list kept at Comcast’s offices.Back To Top
A Set-Top Box is a device that:
Yes. The following are not included in the Settlement: those persons who opt out of the Settlement (see FAQ 15); commercial account subscribers; Comcast officers, directors, or employees, any entity in which Comcast has a controlling interest, and the affiliates, legal representatives, attorneys, heirs, or assigns of Comcast; Class Counsel and Class Counsel’s employees; and Judge Anita B. Brody and members of her judicial staff of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, as well as any federal, state, or local governmental agency, and any judge, justice, or judicial officer presiding over this matter and members of their immediate families and judicial staffs.Back To Top
If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class, or have any other questions about the Settlement, call the toll free number at 1-888-748-8055. You may also write with questions to Comcast Set-Top Box Settlement, P.O. Box 6006, Portland, OR 97228-6006 or send an email to info@SetTopBoxSettlement.com.Back To Top
If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, it will provide benefits to qualified members of the Settlement Class not to exceed $15.5 million. The $15.5 million is not part of any fund. If more than $15.5 million worth of claims is submitted by eligible Claimants, the benefits will be distributed on a pro rata basis. If less than $15.5 million worth of claims is submitted by eligible Claimants, Comcast is entitled to retain the balance.
Subscribers who are Settlement Class Members and submit a valid Claim Form can receive between $10.00 and $15.00, payable by check. In lieu of that cash payment, Current Subscribers who are Settlement Class Members and submit a valid Claim Form have the option of receiving credits redeemable for a variety of Comcast services. Benefit options may vary depending on the period of time you rented a Set-Top Box and how many Set-Top Boxes you rented. Please review each benefit category listed below.
Subscribers who are Settlement Class Members and submit a valid Claim Form will be entitled to cash or Settlement Credits as provided below:
Settlement Class Members shall be entitled, upon submission of a valid Claim Form, to a cash payment in accordance with the length of time they rented a Set-Top Box from Comcast, regardless of the number of Set-Top Boxes they rented, as follows:
In lieu of the Cash Payment set forth above, Settlement Class Members who are Current Subscribers, upon submission of a valid Claim Form, may elect to receive in-kind relief, in accordance with the length of time they rented a Set-Top Box from Comcast, as follows:
Plus, if the Claimant rented more than one Set-Top Box, one (1) additional movie or television show rental or purchase (up to a maximum $5.99 value).
Plus, if the Claimant rented more than one Set-Top Box, two (2) additional movie or television show rentals or purchases (up to a maximum $11.98 value).
Plus, if the Claimant rented more than one Set-Top Box, three (3) additional movie or television show rentals or purchases (up to a maximum $17.97 value).
Your rental period is determined by the length of time you rented a Set-Top Box during the time period from January 1, 2005 to September 5, 2018. The Settlement Credits will expire ninety (90) days after issuance. To receive Settlement Credits, you must be a Current Subscriber and a customer in good standing (i.e., the account cannot be open to disconnection for non-payment). To receive any Settlement benefit, a Current Subscriber who elects to receive Settlement Credits must continue to subscribe to Comcast until in-kind benefits are distributed.Back To Top
If you qualify for the benefits described above, you must complete and submit a Claim Form including all required information. You can quickly and easily file your Claim Form online here. The deadline to file a Claim online is 11:59 p.m. PST on August 31, 2019. You may also file by U.S. mail by downloading a copy of the Claim Form here. You also can request one be sent to you by calling the toll-free number at 1-888-748-8055 or by writing to the address below. Claim Forms submitted by mail must be postmarked on or before August 31, 2019, and sent to the Claims Administrator at the following address:
Comcast Set-Top Box Settlement
P.O. Box 6006
Portland, OR 97228-6006
Please read all instructions carefully and fill out the Claim Form completely.Back To Top
Eligible Class Members who submit a valid and timely Claim Form will receive their benefits after the Court grants “final approval” of the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved (see FAQ 20). It is uncertain when any appeals made will be resolved, and resolving them can take time. Please be patient.Back To Top
If the Settlement becomes final, members of the Settlement Class who submit a Claim Form or do nothing at all will be releasing Comcast from all of the Released Claims described and identified in Section 10 of the Settlement Agreement. This means you will no longer be able to sue Comcast regarding any of the claims described in the Settlement Agreement.
The Settlement Agreement is available here. The Settlement Agreement provides more detail regarding the release and describes the released claims with specific descriptions in necessary, accurate, legal terminology, so read it carefully. You can talk to the law firms representing the Settlement Class listed in FAQ 16 for free or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the released claims or what they mean.
If you do not want to participate in this proposed Settlement and you want to keep the right to sue Comcast about the legal issues in this case, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement. This is called asking to be excluded from, or sometimes called “opting out” of, the Settlement Class.Back To Top
No. If you exclude yourself, you may not apply for any benefits under the Settlement and you cannot object to the proposed Settlement. If you ask to be excluded, however, you may sue or be part of a different lawsuit against Comcast in the future. You will not be bound by anything that happens in this class action Settlement.Back To Top
Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Comcast for all of the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement Class to start or continue your own lawsuit relating to the claims in this case. Unless you have opted out of Comcast’s arbitration clause and class action ban, you may have to arbitrate your claim if you exclude yourself from the Settlement and Settlement Class.Back To Top
To exclude yourself from the Settlement and Settlement Class, you must send the Claims Administrator and Class Counsel or Class Counsel’s designee a written request for exclusion (“Opt-Out Request”).
You must mail your completed request for exclusion, postmarked no later than July 9, 2019, to:
|Claims Administrator||Class Counsel|
|Comcast Set-Top Box Settlement
P.O. Box 6006
Portland, OR 97228-6006
|Dianne M. Nast, Esq.
1101 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
If you do not comply with these procedures and the deadline for exclusions, you will remain a member of the Settlement Class and lose any opportunity to exclude yourself from the Settlement, and your rights will be determined in this lawsuit by the Settlement Agreement, if it receives final judicial approval.
You cannot ask to be excluded on the phone, by email, or on this website.Back To Top
The Court appointed Dianne M. Nast of NastLaw LLC, Kenneth A. Wexler of Wexler Wallace LLP, and Stephen A. Corr of Stark & Stark as “Class Counsel” to represent you and other Class Members. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.Back To Top
Comcast has agreed to pay the costs of class notice and claims administration, including the costs of mailing and publishing Notice.
If the Settlement is approved by the Court, Class Counsel will apply to the Court for reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses of no more than $1.1 million to be awarded by the Court and to be paid by Comcast. The Court may award less than these amounts. Also, the four named Plaintiffs in this Action will receive an incentive payment, which will not exceed $1,000.00 each for their effort, service, time and expenses. Members of the Settlement Class will not be responsible for the fees and expenses of Class Counsel, and the payment of attorneys’ fees and expenses will not reduce the benefits to the Settlement Class.Back To Top
If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may, if you wish, object to the certification of the Settlement Class, to the terms of the proposed Settlement, or to Class Counsel’s application for an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses.
An objection to the Settlement Agreement must:
|Court||Class Counsel||Comcast's Counsel|
|U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Clerk of the Court
601 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
|Dianne M. Nast, Esq.
1101 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
|Jaime Bianchi, Esq.
White & Case LLP
200 South Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33131-2352
If you do not comply with these procedures and the deadline for objections, you will lose any opportunity to have your objection considered at the Fairness Hearing or otherwise to contest the approval of the Settlement or to appeal from any order or judgment entered by the Court in connection with the Settlement.Back To Top
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object to the Settlement and you will not be eligible to apply for any benefits under the Settlement because the case no longer affects you.Back To Top
On September 10, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. EST, the Court will hold a public hearing in Courtroom 7B of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, located at the U.S. Courthouse, 601 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, to determine whether the Settlement Class should be certified and whether the Settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable and should be finally approved, with judgment entered accordingly. The Court will also consider Class Counsel’s application for an award of attorneys’ fees and expense reimbursement and any opposition thereto.
This hearing may be continued or rescheduled by the Court without further notice to the Settlement Class. Please check this website for updates. Members of the Settlement Class who support the Settlement do not need to appear at the hearing or take any other action to indicate their approval of the Settlement. Members of the Settlement Class who object to the Settlement are not required to attend the Fairness Hearing. If you want to be heard orally in opposition to the Settlement, either personally or through your own separate counsel, you must state in your written objection your intention to appear at the Fairness Hearing as set forth in FAQ 18.Back To Top
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. However, you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send in a written objection, you do not have to come to the Fairness Hearing to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend the Fairness Hearing, but their attendance is not necessary.Back To Top
If you are a Class Member and do nothing, you will not get benefits from this Settlement. And, unless you exclude yourself, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Comcast about the claims in this case, ever again.Back To Top
The Notice you received and this website summarize the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can view a copy of the Settlement Agreement and other Settlement-related documents on the Important Documents page. You may also contact the Claims Administrator with questions by calling the toll-free number at 1-888-748-8055, by email to info@SetTopBoxSettlement.com or by writing to Comcast Set-Top Box Settlement, P.O. Box 6006, Portland, OR 97228-6006.
You can also download a copy of the Claim Form here, or have a Claim Form mailed to you by calling the toll-free number at 1-888-748-8055.
If you wish to communicate directly with Class Counsel, you may contact them at the address listed in FAQ 18 or by email at email@example.com. You may also seek advice and guidance from your own private attorney at your own expense.Back To Top