FCC says AT&T must pay $60 million for slowing data on unlimited mobile plans

Are you an AT&T customer on an unlimited data plan? Have you had the feeling that sometimes your phone carrier was deliberately slowing you down? The FCC says you aren't wrong, and that AT&T must pay $60 million in settlement for slowing cellphone data on unlimited plans.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said on Tuesday it will require AT&T to pay a $60 million settlement to resolve the government's charges that the phone carrier cheated millions of American customers by charging them for "unlimited" data plans but reducing their data speeds if they used more than a certain undisclosed amount.

"Scammers come in all sizes," FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra said in a statement.

From Reuters:

As part of the settlement of the 2014 complaint, AT&T is also prohibited from making any representation about the speed or amount of its mobile data without also disclosing any material restrictions on the data.

AT&T issued a brief statement acknowledging that it had reached a settlement with the FTC.

"Even though it has been years since we applied this network management tool in the way described by the FTC, we believe this is in the best interests of consumers," AT&T said in an emailed statement.

The company had fought the FTC in court, saying it had no jurisdiction to bring the case, but lost in 2018.

The FTC alleged that AT&T would begin to slow "unlimited" customers' data after they used as little as two gigabytes of data in a month. Netflix says that watching its shows uses about 1 gigabyte per hour of standard definition video.

AT&T to pay $60 million in settlement for slowing cellphone data on unlimited plans