Comcast customers who sued the Philadelphia-based company back in 2003, alleging the Philadelphia cable company set up an illegal "monopoly" in Philadelphia and other markets when it bought the former Lenfest and AT&T cable operations, among others, have "demonstrated that this case can proceed as a class action," the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled Wednesday. Case is USDC E.Pa. 03-6604, read the ruling here.
Comcast's challenges to whether its customers in major metro regions really form a valid class failed to convince the judges to throw out the complaint, which had been certified as a class action by the district court.
The customers' complaint also says Comcast wrongly "interfered with" efforts by RCN Telecom Services to enter the market as a competitor so it could charge higher prices than a free market would have allowed, by discouraging Comcast contractors from also serving RCN.
Comcast lawyer Michael S. Shuster of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the court's opinion, or whether Comcast would appeal.