In a settlement of antitrust litigation against Sirius XM that paid law firms like Milberg $13 million, the class got only a promise to freeze list prices for five months. The Center for Class Action Fairness argued below that that could hardly be a benefit to the class, since a class member could instead purchase the same service at a substantial discount from list price; the class notice and relief effectively constituted a marketing program for Sirius. Indeed, if Sirius instead emailed class members a coupon for a dollar off of the service, it would be clearly a coupon settlement worth only a dollar/class member. So how can it be worth $180 million, as the court found, when Sirius wasn't even offering the $1 discount coupon? CCAF's objection also addressed the race-based class certification order of the type previously criticized on this site by Professor Michael Krauss. Nevertheless, the district court approved the settlement.
Wednesday, CCAF filed its opening brief on behalf of Nicolas Martin in the appeal of the court's decision approving the settlement.