Trial lawyers $13 million, satellite radio consumers $0 

Sirius XM Radio customers will get no money from a suit recently settled by trial lawyers against the company. But the lawyers are scheduled to extract $13 million. The Center for Class Action Fairness filed an objection today on behalf of Sirius XM Radio customers challenging the settlement in the Southern District Court of New York.

The lawyers had alleged that Sirius' merger with XM violated anti-trust laws and allowed the new company to use its monopoly power to raise prices by 30%. But Sirius XM has been engaging in steep discounting as they face competition from Internet music services and MP3 players. In the end, the trial lawyers "won" an agreement from Sirius not to raise prices for five months.

"Certainly, parties to a class action can agree to settle a case for $13 million," said Ted Frank, the lead attorney on the objection and the founder of CCAF.

Trial lawyers were the largest single donor to the Democratic Party in 2010 according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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