OLD Media Moves

Judge rules WSJ can change online subscription price at any time

March 23, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Jeff Roberts of PaidContent.org reports Friday that The Wall Street Journal‘s parent, Dow Jones & Co., has run a ruling allowing it to change the terms and price of an online subscription contract at any time.

Roberts writes, “The subscriber agreement allowed readers of the Wall Street Journal to access Barron’s Online for free but, in January of 2006, Dow Jones required readers to pay an additional $20 for ongoing access to the financial publication.

“The law of consumer contracts typically does not allow merchants to change prices on the fly. The judge may, however, have sided with Dow Jones because 79 percent of the WSJ’s approximately 400,000 online subscribers did not access Barron’s at all.

“The judge also found that Dow Jones didn’t abuse a provision in the subscription agreement that permitted it to make changes to fees and services:

”There is no evidence that Dow Jones used the discontinuance provision to deprive plaintiffs of an unreasonably large part of WSJ Online’s content, and there is no reason to interpret this provision as permitting such extreme behavior.'”

Read more here.

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