FTC’s Data-Speed Lawsuit Against AT&T Can Proceed, Appeals Court Says
A federal appeals court ruled the Federal Trade Commission can move forward with its lawsuit alleging AT&T misled wireless subscribers by reducing data speeds for several million customers who thought they had purchased unlimited plans. The ruling by the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals is a notable win for the FTC because it restores the agency’s regulatory authority over large internet service providers. In 2016, a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit had thrown out the FTC’s case, ruling the commission didn’t have the authority to bring a case against AT&T because of the company’s status as a common carrier. But the appeals court withdrew that opinion and, with a larger roster of judges participating, issued a new decision that sided with the government. The court agreed with the FTC’s argument that the lawsuit was valid because the commission was challenging AT&T for providing mobile data services that were not part of its status as a common carrier of traditional phone services.
FTC’s Data-Speed Lawsuit Against AT&T Can Proceed, Appeals Court Says In a blow to AT&T, federal judges have rejected ‘the loophole that could’ve swallowed the Internet’ (Washington Post) Court allows FTC to move forward with data-throttling case against AT&T (The Hill) Ninth Circuit Clarifies: FTC Common Carrier Carve-Out Is Activity Based (Broadcasting&Cable)