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AT&T and FTC settle data reduction lawsuit



The case almost hardly went ahead. The Court of Appeal effectively dismissed the case in 2016 on the grounds that AT&T's general carrier status exempted it from disclosing its throttling activity. In 2018, however, a federal court ruled that the FTC could pursue the case after noting that AT&T's data services were not part of its general carrier status.

The lawsuit alleges that AT&T is misleading legacy unrestricted customers with data about its transfer plan. , failing to adequately inform them that they will see drastic delays after using a certain amount of data each month. It's not really the unlimited service they signed up for, according to the FTC. AT&T is involved in the case, arguing that few people are affected and that it notifies customers of impending silencing by text.

There is no doubt that the wireless landscape has changed a lot since the beginning of the case. Like it or not, throttling is a major part of many US carriers (including Engadget parent Verizon), whether after a certain amount of common usage or for specific services like video. An agreement may not carry much weight unless it requires significant changes to existing disclosure practices.


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