Court case

Developments in telecommunications policy being made in the legal system.

Appeals Court Weighs California Net Neutrality Law

California's net neutrality law could pave the way for conflicting broadband regulations in all 50 states, a lawyer for the cable industry argued to a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. “The question before this court is whether interstate broadband service will continue to be governed by a single, national set of rules, or instead will for the first time face a patchwork of conflicting state regulation,” attorney Scott Angstreich, who represents broadband lobbying groups, told the appellate judges.

Judge Orders Apple to Loosen App Store Restrictions in Mixed Verdict

US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued her verdict in the closely watched battle between Apple and Epic Games, saying Apple’s prohibition against developers sending users to alternative ways of making in-app purchases was anticompetitive and permanently prohibited it from doing so. “The Court does not find that Apple is an antitrust monopolist in the submarket for mobile gaming transactions,” the judge wrote.

Federal Trade Commission Unveils Data Backing Facebook Monopoly Case

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made public for the first time the data it's using to bolster its case that Facebook has monopoly power over social networking. From September 2012 through December 2020, Facebook’s share of time spent by users of social media apps in the US has averaged 92 percent per month, according to a filing in federal court in Washington.

Texas governor signs bill prohibiting social media giants from blocking users based on viewpoint

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) signed a bill that would prohibit large tech companies from blocking or restricting people or their posts based on their viewpoint, setting the stage for a legal battle with the tech industry.

EU Court states ‘zero tariff’ options are contrary to regulation on open internet access

Two German courts put questions to the European Union Court of Justice concerning the compatibility with EU law of the limitation, on the part of an internet access provider, on bandwidth, tethering or on use when roaming, where the customer chooses such a ‘zero tariff’ option.

CenturyLink Settles Second Level 3 Deal Term Violation

CenturyLink, since renamed Lumen, has agreed to pay the Department of Justice (DOJ) $275,000 to settle the department's complaint stemming from the company's violation of the terms of its acquisition of Level 3 Communications. According to the DOJ, it is the second such violation by CenturyLink. The DOJ will file a civil contempt claim in DC federal court and at the same time ask the court to accept the settlement, which resolves the claim. “CenturyLink is a repeat offender,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Powers of the Antitrust Division.

Democrats push for federal probe of alleged ad collusion between Google and Facebook

Four Democratic members of Congress are calling for an investigation into whether an alleged secret 2018 agreement between Google and Facebook concerning digital advertising violated federal antitrust law. Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Rep Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Rep Mondaire Jones (D-NY) wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Acting US Attorney General Nicholas Ganjei asking them to determine whether federal charges might be warranted.

Federal Trade Commission Refiles Facebook Antitrust Suit

The Federal Trade Commission filed an amended complaint against Facebook in the agency’s ongoing federal antitrust case. The complaint alleges that after repeated failed attempts to develop innovative mobile features for its network, Facebook instead resorted to an illegal buy-or-bury scheme to maintain its dominance. It unlawfully acquired innovative competitors with popular mobile features that succeeded where Facebook’s own offerings fell flat or fell apart.

FCC Opposes Private Suits Over Alleged Wireless Buildout Rule Violations

Federal Communications Commission attorneys have told a US district court that the agency does not think individuals can sue over alleged violations of various FCC rules regarding wireless transmissions or infrastructure. This comes as the FCC is working to promote the buildout of 5G, which has been a national priority under both Republican and Democratic administrations. The US District Court for the District of Hawaii asked the FCC for input on the issue of private rights of action and whether, in the case of alleged violations of RF emission regulations and ones regarding antenna height

California Public Utilities Commission rules T-Mobile lied about Sprint merger

T-Mobile lied to government regulators about its 3G shutdown plans in order to win approval of its merger with Sprint, according to a ruling from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).