Court Won't Dismiss FTC Suit Against AT&T Data Plan

A California U.S. District Court has rejected AT&T's motion to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission's lawsuit over AT&T's marketing of its mobile data services, which the FTC said was deceptive. AT&T said it will appeal the court's decision.

AT&T had argued that it is exempt because the FTC lacks jurisdiction due to the common-carrier exemption. The court concluded otherwise, denying the motion and saying that the exemption only applies when the entity is a common carrier and is engaged in a common-carrier activity.

At the time of the FTC complaint, the court pointed out, broadband data service was not a common-carrier service – and won't be until the Federal Communications Commission's Title II reclassification order is finalized.

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(Photo via John Taylor's FlickrImage taken on Aug. 14, 2014 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.