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AT&T loses years-long quest to cripple FTC authority over telecoms

Monday February 26, 2018. 10:45 PM , from Ars Technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | ljhimages)
AT&T's years-long quest to avoid punishment for throttling unlimited data plans suffered a blow today when a court said that AT&T cannot escape the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC sued AT&T in October 2014 in US District Court in Northern California, alleging that AT&T promised unlimited data to wireless customers and then throttled its speeds by as much as 90 percent. To escape punishment, AT&T claimed that the FTC has no jurisdiction over the company because the FTC is barred from regulating common carriers.
There have now been three court decisions on AT&T's claim. But the latest and most important decision was released today and sided with the FTC. US law does prevent the FTC from regulating common carriers, but the immunity from FTC regulation applies 'only to the extent that a common carrier was engaging in common-carrier services,' according to today's ruling from an en banc session of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
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