AT&T’s Hopes Throttled by 9th Circuit In En Banc Opinion

Well-known telecom giant AT&T has spent years attempting to evade repercussions stemming from their practice of “throttling back” data speeds for consumers paying for unlimited data plans. Sued back in 2014 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), AT&T claimed that the FTC lacked jurisdiction over common carriers after claims arose that it had dialed back service speeds up to 90%. Heard and re-heard since 2014, courts have issued decision no less than three times, but the significance of the latest cannot be understated; the 9th circuit held that immunity from FTC regulation extends “only [insofar as] a common carrier was engaging in common-carrier services….” Unsurprisingly, this decision allows the lawsuit to proceed, but it also validates the FTC’s power to regulate other services provided by common carriers, in addition to their “common carrier services.” Judge McKeown, in her opinion issued en banc, wrote, AT&T…

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