A group of 14 mobile content providers, including mBlox, *Sony* Pictures, 2WayTraffic and Playphone, have agreed to settle the latest class action lawsuit stemming from the way that wireless subscribers were charged for unauthorized content.
The settlement was initially approved by the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois; it includes a $63 million payout to settlement members — though that could be reduced to $36 million, if a similar suit against AT&T (NYSE: T) is settled — as well as attorney’s fees between $4 million and $11.4 million.
Settlement members are eligible to receive a one-time cash award of $10.00, or a refund of up to three months of content subscription charges. Per the lawsuit’s FAQ: Members of the settlement class include any person in the U.S. and its territories who, at any time prior to October 10, 2009, was billed and paid for unauthorized content from any of the defendants.
People can find out if they’re eligible by scanning past phone records for short codes (pdf) that identify the various mobile content companies. Participants in the Mobile Messenger or Media Breakaway settlements, as well as the pending suit against AT&T, are not eligible.
In addition to the payout, the defendants are required to agree to adhere to the CTIA and MMA’s guidelines for mobile content sales and marketing — including properly disclosing billing terms in “clear and conspicuous” fashion — as well as promptly refunding unauthorized content. To be clear, all 14 defendants have denied any wrongful conduct, and the settlement is in no way a guilty judgment by the Court. Full details can be found at MobileContentSettlement.com.