The second biggest seller of smartphone devices in the world is filing a $1 billion lawsuit against Qualcomm over patent royalties. And it is not just Apple going after the chip maker giant -- a few days ago, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also sued Qualcomm, accusing the company of anticompetitive practices.
In the lawsuit it filed, the iPhone maker claims that Qualcomm is unfairly demanding overwhelming royalties for technologies, some of which the processor manufacturer did not even develop in the first place, like Apple’s Touch ID. According to Apple, Qualcomm has overcharged it billions of dollars through an illegal scheme, and Apple is now seeking damages of nearly $1 billion.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), AT&T will be refunding more than $88 million to over 2.7 million users who were unfairly charged in their bills by third parties. About a couple of years ago, the major US wireless carrier had agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $105 million as settlement for an investigation conducted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
United States District Court Judge Edward Chen of the Northern California District Court has issued a ruling that AT&T will not be facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly misleading its subscribers regarding its promised unlimited data that turned out to be throttled when users go over 3 gigabytes of data in a given month. According to the judge, all subscribers that were affected had signed agreements that allowed the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States to send disputes (like this one) to individual arbitration.
Unlimited data plans offered by AT&T now bear more resemblance to actual “unlimited” data plans. That is because the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States recently revealed that it is moving to dramatically boost the amount of data that its subscribers grandfathered into its discontinued plan can utilize in a month’s time before it starts to throttled (slowed down).
Customers of AT&T who filed for refunds after experiencing unwanted charges on their phone bills may not be able to get full reimbursement from the US major wireless carrier. The reason: there is just not enough money to go around. Yikes.
As of this writing, over 3 million current and former subscribers of AT&T have sent their applications for refunds as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over illegal charges that have been "crammed" on their phone bills. The FTC had determined that third parties had utilized the carrier's premium text messaging service and then AT&T then charged the use of this service to its subscribers.
When you offer unlimited data, you should provide unlimited data. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to impose that rule by fining mobile virtual network operator TracFone $40 million for throttling the data speeds of its subscribers.
According to the FTC, TracFone has misled its subscribers by advertising plans with unlimited data and then slowing down the data speeds (and in some cases, even shut down the data) when customers go beyond a certain amount of gigabytes of data per month.
TracFone apparently throttled data speeds when users consumed between 1 to 3 gigabytes of data within a billing period, and even completely cut off data after 4 to 5 gigabytes.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to investigate whether AT&T has misled its subscribers over its throttling policies. The major wireless carrier usually throttles network speeds on subscribers of unlimited data when they go beyond a certain threshold every month.
Last October, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also filed a lawsuit against AT&T over its throttling practices. But between the two federal agencies, the FCC is expected to perform the formal investigation.
The FCC investigation was revealed when AT&T filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit by FTC. The carrier pointed out that it is not subject to the jurisdiction of the FTC because of its common carrier status as a regulated phone service provider.
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