What you need to know

  • AT&T and the FTC have settled a five-year-old data throttling case.
  • In 2014, the FTC filed a lawsuit against AT&T for not informing customers on unlimited data plans that their data speeds could be throttled.
  • Though an agreement was reached, the value of it was not revealed.

Back in 2014, the Federal Trade Commission levied a lawsuit against AT&T over accusations that it was throttling the data of its customers. Five years later, the lawsuit has been settled.

According to Reuters, the FTC and AT&T reached a settlement agreement on August 2. Afterwards, the U.S. District Court in San Francisco granted both parties a 90-day stay to review and vote on the proposed settlement.

The original lawsuit argued that AT&T "failed to inform consumers it would slow the speeds of heavy data users on unlimited plans." The lawsuit got acrimonious between the FTC and AT&T, with the latter going so far as to argue it was a "common carrier" therefore it fell outside of the FTC's jurisdiction.

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From data throttling to meaningless "unlimited plans" that come with data caps, carriers have not been the most customer friendly companies. Even now, AT&T still uses questionable tactics like the marketing of its 4G LTE network as 5GE, even though it is not a 5G network. It seems these carriers never learn.

Though a settle was reached, the value of it was not revealed. The next step in the process will be for the two parties to sign off on the settlement agreement after which the longstanding ordeal will come to an end.