Court news I: Insight subscribers sue to buy cable boxes

Paying $15.95 a month or nearly $200 a year for a cable box so they can access premium services for which they're also paying rankles a pair of Insight Communications subscribers to the point that they've taken the matter to court. Not only that, the pair, Michelle Downs and Laurie Jarrett, both of Louisville, think there's enough nationwide agreement that it can be expanded into a class action.

According to the suit, filed in U.S. District Court, Insight is crossing the legal lines of antitrust laws because it's forcing subscribers to pay "inflated" rental fees to access services like HDTV and interactivity.

The plaintiffs' attorney, Matt White, took the direct route, suggesting that the ability to buy "this cable box from Radio Shack or what have you" would dramatically lower the prices for consumer electronics.

Insight spokesman Jason Keller wouldn't comment directly on the suit but did not that the issue "is neither new nor is it isolated to Insight--it is industry-wide."

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