NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- BanxCorp, owner of bank rate website BanxQuote.com, has filed a federal antitrust complaint against nine firms for allegedly engaging in "unlawful per se horizontal market division, customer allocation and price fixing agreements" with rivals in the market for bank rate websites throughout the U.S.
The firms that BanxCorp has filed a compliant against include News Corp's (NWSA - Get Report) Dow Jones & Company and Fox News Network, The New York Times (NYT - Get Report), GE (GE - Get Report) NBC Universal's CNBC, Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) and NBC Universal's MSNBC, Time Warner's (TWX - Get Report) CNN, AOL (AOL - Get Report), Tree.com's (TREE - Get Report) LendingTree and Move (MOVE - Get Report).
BanxCorp accuses these companies of forming a cartel with their competitor Bankrate.com, together with about a hundred competing bank rate website operators, including some of the largest media conglomerates in the U.S.
The complaint estimates that the damages caused by the alleged price-fixing cartel may exceed $500 million, "to be trebled under the antitrust statute.""The harm to the competitive marketplace and consumers is alleged to be of equal or greater magnitude," BanxCorp said in a press release. -- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.