Why You Should Care: AT&T v. Concepcion

November 24, 2010 -

The California Violent Video Game law is not the only important case before the supreme court affecting consumers. Earlier this month the highest court in the land heard oral arguments in AT&T v. Concepcion, a case that could remove the right for consumers to band together as a class action against corporations. Here is more from the Consumer Federation of America:

"The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this month in the case of AT&T v. Concepcion, in which the right to hold corporations responsible for wrong-doing through consumer class action lawsuits is at stake. In a statement on the case issued earlier this month, CFA Senior Counsel Rachel Weintraub said: “A ruling by the Supreme Court in AT&T’s favor would have dire consequences for the rights of consumers to obtain redress. Without access to class actions, consumers will be boxed into mandatory arbitration proceedings, which are held by arbiters often handpicked by the corporation and most often side with corporation.” CFA is among numerous consumer groups, civil rights organizations, state attorneys general, and law professors who have joined in an amicus brief 'requesting that the Supreme Court preserve this important legal right to organize in class actions.'"

ECA is a member of the Consumer Federation of America (which was also a co-signatory on our amicus brief).

[Games Politics is an ECA publication.]

Source: consumerfed.org

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Comments

Re: Why You Should Care: AT&T v. Concepcion

I've read some on this case elsewhere, and what's at stake isn't at all what you describe (as I hear, at least.) The ability to file class-action suits shouldn't be dramatically affected by this outcome. For those who don't know the background: AT&T had a line in their cell phone contract that certain disputes go to arbitration instead of court. Presumably this is because arbitration is quicker and cheaper than court. (It's also said that the consumers do just as well under arbitration, and that AT&T can as a result provide cheaper plans because they're somewhat insulated from the threat of jackpot lawsuits, but I can't definitively prove this.) AT&T customers agreed to this contract, had some dispute, and sued anyway. Customers say that CA law forbids contracts that would forbid lawsuits; AT&T says federal law which allows for contractual arbitration trumps state laws. The lawsuit deals more with contractual issues; meritorious class-action and fraud suits aren't really at stake.

Re: Why You Should Care: AT&T v. Concepcion

I understand what you are saying but the harm this will cause to consumers is not really off set by any imaginary savings or cheaper prices. Market forces set pricing and if people are willing to pay current prices the phone companies costs to become zero and still they wouldn't lower prices. In a truly competitive market they would, but we don't really have that. It all boils down to values and in my opinion we should not allow ANY person to sign away their rights. Especially with something as flimsy as an EULA that most people don't read and don't actually sign to.

Re: Why You Should Care: AT&T v. Concepcion

Mind you that another contract that included an arbitration-clause was the cause of a severe debate because a woman that got raped was not allowed to go to court according to her contract. Companies already hide massive crimes behind arbitration, what's to prevent them from simply hiding financial scams behind them?

Re: Why You Should Care: AT&T v. Concepcion

It does seem to pave the way though. A lot of precedent these days is built on prior precedent. Keep that in mind while justifying this. AT&T is about as far from a company with good intentions as you can get. If this passes, software and game EULAs could perhaps be modified in the future such that you can't sue the company that published the game or software - including the government. The EULA is a contract after all. This should fail to pass unscathed on the premise that such precedent WILL be used later by large companies as an immunity card to get away with anything. - Left4Dead Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.
- Left4Dead Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.
 
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Papa MidnightKyle Orland's response: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/addressing-allegations-of-collusion-among-gaming-journalists/09/18/2014 - 12:41pm
Papa MidnightJames, I say this as a person who has managed a gaming press website before: This article is horrendous sensationalism: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/18/2014 - 12:41pm
Krono@james I never said you did. I was responding to Andrew's statement that he'd seen a mere two articles suggesting that the term gamer was tainted, by pointing him to a list of the articles that were more or less the orgin of the idea.09/18/2014 - 12:09pm
E. Zachary KnightBut james, you replied to my tweet when I tweeted about one of those articles. That is basically the same thing as writing an editorial on GP in support of it. ;)09/18/2014 - 12:04pm
james_fudgeNot only did we not write one, we didn't cover any of them either.09/18/2014 - 11:46am
KronoThe underlying suggestion most of the articles had that gamers supporting the issue were just the young men stereotype pissed off a lot of people, and sparked the #NotYourShield tag09/18/2014 - 9:41am
Krono@andrew Just two? The whole reason #GamerGate gained real traction was that 9 op-eds including arguments to that effect dropped in 24 hours: http://markdownshare.com/view/a524affd-e679-40be-8aa1-72058065dc2a09/18/2014 - 9:38am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.gog.com/forum/general/double_fine_abandoned_spacebase_df9_development ITT: People who don't know what Early Access is.09/18/2014 - 9:32am
ZippyDSMleeFF2/4 remake now on steam.09/18/2014 - 9:13am
james_fudgeThis what they really think of us: http://www.donotlink.com/framed?54192709/18/2014 - 9:10am
ConsterAh yes, nothing quite says "I take offense to being associated with an awful few" like siding with said awful few.09/18/2014 - 9:07am
Michael ChandraSo be smart, and if you want to be part of the good guys, separate yourself from the bad guys. Don't attack those upset you won't.09/18/2014 - 6:30am
Michael ChandraMeanwhile, Gamergate is tainted and wise people already use a different tag to defend decent arguments. Keeping it up is like going #KKK while arguing about PoC.09/18/2014 - 6:30am
Michael ChandraSo while claiming to be unfairly attacked for the actions of a selected few, you unfairly attack an entire crowd for the actions of a selected few? #notagamer #butahater09/18/2014 - 6:30am
james_fudgeQuiknkold: Let me ask you- how many of those 'gamers are dead' articles did you see here? Because apparently i'm part of some vast conspiracy.09/18/2014 - 5:18am
NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
 

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