US judge allows a class action suit against Gogo for its in-flight wifi contracts
A federal judge has allowed a class action suit to proceed against Gogo, the largest in-flight wifi provider.
The filing is on behalf of air travelers. It claims that the company is violating antitrust laws. At issue is whether its contracts with major airlines are a form of monopoly, forcing up prices anti-competitively.
An all-day pass is typically $14 — though promotional offers on short flights can go as low as $2. Competitor services sometimes offer lower prices.
Gogo, a US company, has contracts with American, Delta, JAL, and other major airlines. It controls as much as 85% of the more than 2,000 planes equipped to provide wifi in the US.
The company installs equipment on planes. It sets the prices, to prevent airlines from using the service as a loss leader. It gives airlines a commission.
About one in ten passengers in the US use paid in-flight wi-fi when it is offered, according to In-Stat, a market research firm.
The complaint will move towards a trial. Here’s the decision against Gogo, via GigaOm:
Sean O’Neill is Editor-in-Chief of Tnooz.
Before joining us, Sean was the future of travel columnist at BBC Travel, senior editor of BudgetTravel.com, and an associate editor at Kiplinger’s. He now lives in New Jersey, after a four-year stint in London. Follow him on Twitter.