AT&T would pay $60 million to settle U.S. allegations it misled millions of smartphone prospects by charging them for “unlimited” data plans that lowered data speeds if they used too much, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mentioned on Tuesday.
As a part of the agreement of the 2014 complaint, AT&T is also forbidden from making any representation about the speed or amount of its mobile data without further disclosing any material restrictions on the data.
AT&T issued a quick statement admitting that it had settled with the FTC.
The company had fought the FTC in court, saying it had no authority to bring the case, but lost in 2018.
The FTC claimed that AT&T would begin to slow “unlimited” customers’ data after they used as less as 2GB of data in a month. Netflix says that its shows use about 1 GB/Hr of standard definition video.
Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, mentioned AT&T made commitments it didn’t keep. “While it seems obvious, it bears repeating that service providers should tell people about any limitations on the speed or amount of data guaranteed,” he mentioned in a statement.
The $60 million will be deposited into a fund to provide partial refunds to present as well as former clients who had signed up for unlimited plans before 2011, however, they had their data speeds lowered, or “throttled” by AT&T when their usage went beyond a particular threshold.
FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra stated he would push for big firms to be held liable for failing to live up to promises.