WiFi in cafes, schools, and work places are pretty common. However WiFi in airplanes, that’s a different story. For the longest time ever, airplanes did not come with WiFi and entertainment came in the form of the small screen in front of the passenger, but with our need to stay connected these days, it was inevitable that WiFi was introduced to airplanes, although it did not come cheap. In-flight internet provider Gogo is one of the companies that provides WiFi to airline passengers and they have recently been hit with a class action complaint where the complainants claimed that the company has entered into illegal exclusive contracts with airline companies in a bid to overcharge customers for WiFi use.
However Gogo hsa naturally refuted those complaints, claiming that, “Plaintiffs admit that during the period that Gogo allegedly foreclosed competition, several Gogo competitors entered the market and gained market share. These new entrants not only gained market share by executing agreements with airlines with which Gogo does not currently do business (e.g., Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways) but also took business that the [complaint] alleges was locked up by Gogo’s exclusive dealing contracts.”
Gogo’s motion to dismiss has since been denied, with District Judge Edward Chen claiming that the complaint put forward by the plaintiffs were solid enough to warrant consideration. As it stands, Gogo charges in-flight WiFi to passengers at $14 for a day, and $40 to $60 for monthly passes. In the meantime what do you guys think? Do you agree that Gogo overcharges, or do you think that if customers find it too expensive, they have the choice not to use it?
[Image credit - Peter Bartsch]
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