September 1, 2016
Partner Steven A. Augustino and associate Jameson Dempsey are quoted in the Communications Daily article “The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ Monday ruling in the FTC lawsuit against AT&T.” The article discusses the 9th Circuit’s recent decision dismissing an FTC lawsuit against AT&T and references a blog post published in CommLaw Monitor that was authored by Mr. Augustino and Mr. Dempsey. In the lawsuit, the FTC claimed the AT&T failed to adequately disclose its data “throttling” practices to customers with unlimited data plans, amounting to unfair and deceptive practices. Mr. Augustino and Mr. Dempsey said the 9th Circuit’s decision makes it more difficult for the FTC to bring an action against any company claiming to be a common carrier and “even providing only a small amount of common carrier service may be enough to qualify all of a company’s activities for the common carrier exemption.” They said if the FTC appeals the ruling, industry and practitioners could get “welcome guidance” and the court decision could “add fuel” to FTC’s longtime call to end the common carrier exemption. With respect to the FCC, the article noted Mr. Augustino’s and Mr. Dempsey’s comments that the decision would impact pending FCC rulemaking proceedings, including its re-vamp of its privacy rules, and “may encourage the FCC to fill any potential gap in coverage by taking a broader view of its own authority to regulate non-common carrier services that common carriers offer to consumers.”
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