Passengers have won a ruling regarding alleged Gogo in-flight “monopoly”

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A federal judge has decided not to throw out a class action lawsuit by air travelers that claims Gogo’s in-flight Internet service is violating antitrust laws through long-term contracts with major airline companies. U.S. District judge Edward Chen said that passengers provided evidence to go forward with the case. The passengers are claiming that Gogo has a 85% market-share and airlines cannot easily terminate the Gogo agreements. Gogo has deals with airlines like Delta, U.S. Air, and Delta.

The Gogo price varies by flight, but a $24 hour pass is $14. Gogo’s competitor Row44 only charges $5 per flight. The initial version of the complaint was thrown out, but Judge Chen is allowing the amended complaint to go forward since new facts have been added. The passengers claim that Gogo’s Internet technology is inferior since it relies on ground-to-air transmission instead of the satellite services that Row44 and JetBlue ViaSat uses.

Gogo said that they do not control 85% of the in-flight Wi-Fi market. Gogo also argued that the lawsuit wrongly states that they have a contract with Southwest Airlines. Judge Chen acknowledged that Gogo’s objections in the case are legitimate, but there are enough facts for this case to move forward.

“We continue to believe that the suit is without merit and we will continue to vigorously defend ourselves,” stated a Gogo spokesperson.

[Sources: Law360/GigaOM]

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