13 Aug 2015 01:22 AM EST
The nation's pay-TV services — cable, satellite and fiber — have cornered the lucrative rental market for the set-top boxes needed to receive their programming, saddling consumers with an average of more than $231 a year in "hidden, hideously vexing fees," according to a new report.
Competition for this $19 billion-a-year rental market is virtually non-existent, according to the July 30 report by two Democratic members of Congress, Sens. Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.
Based on a survey of the major pay-TV services, the senators estimate that approximately 99 percent of pay-TV customers rent the set-top box from their service provider.
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