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.

The move is a potential boon to Gogo rivals like Row44, which typically lets airlines like Southwest control the rates fliers pay for its service. Southwest often charges $5 per flight.

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:


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Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill had roles as a reporter and editor-in-chief at Tnooz between July 2012 and January 2017.



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  1. Timothy O'Neil-Dunne

    Another example where the law in the USA is an ASS!
    The remedial action is for Row44 (the only competitor) to get what? Nothing because this is on behalf of the Consumer. So the lawyers get a squillion dollars and what do we as consumers get? A discount off a few dollars of a one time pass.

    If the Judge was serious about competition he should look elsewhere at the US Air Transport system where the lack of competition is driving up prices of a real nature.

    And for clarity purposes – I am both a frequent traveller and a GoGo subscriber. Also a heavy user of OnAir.



  2. Victor A

    It takes infrastructure and mass. It’s not a monopoly. Don’t use it. It wasn’t there just a few years ago. If you are staying in a hotel and they offer paid wi-Fi are they a monopoly too? I’m just super happy it exists. It amazing actually.

  3. Steve_SanDiego

    Seriously, GoGo hasn’t locked anyone out of the market if they have competitors. The competitors have simply chosen a different pricing model. The airlines are able to pick the model they wish to support. Customers can choice to use or not use the service.


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