AT&T urges FCC to drop $100 million fine, claims ‘unlimited’ customers not materially affected by throttling

“AT&T has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to withdraw and cancel a document proposing the company be hit with a $100 million fine for misleading customers,” David McCabe reports for The Hill. “The company also said that the commission should, at the very least, halt enforcement of proposed non-monetary penalties until the courts could weigh in on their legality. It also asked that any fine leveled against the company not exceed $16,000.”

“In a filing earlier this month, obtained by The Hill, the telecom giant insisted it had properly disclosed the terms of the plans to customers and took issue with the proposed punishments. The fine is the largest proposed in the agency’s history,” McCabe reports. “‘The Commission’s findings that consumers and competition were harmed are devoid of factual support and wholly implausible,’ the company wrote in its filing. ‘Its ‘moderate’ forfeiture penalty of $100 million is plucked out of thin air, and the injunctive sanctions it proposes are beyond the Commission’s authority.'”

“AT&T said that the FCC would be acting outside its authority in imposing the fine and in making the other requests — in part because it said the statute of limitations on the alleged violations had already lapsed,” McCabe reports. “The primary filing was accompanied by two affidavits, one filed by an AT&T executive and another from an economist who found that ‘evidence on actual consumer purchase decisions indicates that the vast majority of [unlimited plan] subscribers were sufficiently informed about [the policies], such that they were either not surprised by being throttled or not materially affected by throttling (or both).'”

“AT&T is likely to find allies on the Republican side of the commission,” McCabe reports. “Republican commissioner Ajit Pai said in a statement last month that “the justice dispensed here condemns a private actor not only in innocence but also in ignorance.” His Republican colleague Michael O’Rielly also dissented from the decision to propose the fine.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: $16,000? Those AT&T rat bastages must be high.

AT&T may face U.S. FCC fine over data throttling iPhone users – January 9, 2015
AT&T defends unlimited data throttling, says U.S. FTC can’t stop it – January 9, 2015
Verizon explains why it’s throttling its ‘unlimited’ data customers – July 31, 2014
U.S. FTC suing AT&T over promises of unlimited data – October 28, 2014
AT&T Mobility limits ‘unlimited’ data plans – March 1, 2012
AT&T limits ‘unlimited’ data customers – February 15, 2012
AT&T won’t appeal decision in throttling suit, pays up – March 19, 2012
AT&T offers iPhone user a settlement in throttling case in exchange for silence – March 13, 2012
AT&T customer wins $850 in iPhone ‘throttling’ case – February 24, 2012

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


    1. Not quite. More like ignorant morons who find no problem getting repeatedly fleeced by shady business practices.

      You probably have something akin to stockholm syndrome. Stop being a fucking patsy for once in your life, John.

  1. The only thing keeping me on AT&T is unlimited data and that they grandfather us despite all these plan changes. Will T-Mobile grandfather users who are on their all unlimited plan?

  2. AT&T is living on corporate welfare, the same stuff that the neocons and some commenters here say is the worst sin.
    Don’t like the rules? Change them in your favor.

    I fusee that’s what all you free market people want.

    Remember, there are no free markets; just rigging the market on each side of the equation.

    They can go pound salt.

  3. I was throttled last month, the first time it’s happened. Appeared that I’d used 4.5 GB of my unlimited plan and they cut me back till the end go my monthly date. Not happy with AT&T about that. Asked at the ATT store if I’d had a 10GB family plan if it would be throttled after 5 GB, no I would not. I would conclude that this is not a internet backbone issue for AT&T.

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