HOT Client Protests Settlement Over CNN Ditching

A HOT cable company customer has filed an objection in Tel Aviv District Court to protest a settlement on a class-action lawsuit against HOT. The suit had been brought against the cable provider for removing CNN from its basic package. If the court approves the settlement, no other customers will be able to file a complaint against HOT for dropping the news channel.

Penina Barkan said last week that the settlement, in which a single customer received NIS 55,000 in compensation, along with NIS 165,000 in lawyer fees, was intended to prevent other customers from suing HOT for compensation.

"At the price it's paying the plaintiff, HOT is buying issue preclusion in the form of legal finality on the cheap, blocking all of its customers from filing complaints with it over the period when it didn't offer CNN," states her formal objection. "The compromise that was offered is outrageous, unreasonable, unfair and improper, since it benefits HOT and the plaintiff at the expense of all HOT customers."

HOT dropped CNN from its basic package in 2007, but has agreed to offer CNN for two years as part of the settlement to which Barkan objects. The deal was reached with Leonid Kleiner, who requested approval for a NIS 400 million class-action suit against the cable company last year.

Kleiner said HOT dropped CNN without informing its customers, lowering fees or replacing it with a new channel.