Court case

Developments in telecommunications policy being made in the legal system.

Behind a Secret Deal Between Google and Facebook

In 2017, Facebook said it was testing a new way of selling online advertising that would threaten Google’s control of the digital ad market. But less than two years later, Facebook did an about-face and said it was joining an alliance of companies backing a similar effort by Google.

California Democrats Urge Incoming Attorney General to Prioritize Net Neutrality

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18and 13 members of California’s congressional delegation sent a letter to Attorney General-designate Merrick Garland urging him to withdraw the US federal government’s lawsuit against the State of California over its net neutrality law as one of the first actions after the inauguration. “With the new Administration, we have an opportunity to restore the damage the Trump FCC has done to the free and open internet in the last four years,” said Rep.

Frontier agrees to fiber-network expansion in plan to exit bankruptcy

Frontier Communications has agreed to expand its fiber-to-the-premises network and improve its poor service quality as part of a bankruptcy settlement in California. Frontier committed to deploy fiber to 350,000 homes and businesses within six years on a schedule that would require the first 100,000 by the end of 2022, 250,000 by the end of 2024, and the full 350,000 by year-end 2026. The settlement, filed in late December, is pending approval by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

D.C. Circuit Denies Petition for Review of Lifeline Order

The National Lifeline Association challenged the Federal Communications Commission's November 2019 Lifeline order which restored the role of states in designating eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) to participate in the Lifeline program, clarified the obligations of participating carriers, and took steps to improve compliance by Lifeline ETCs and reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in the program. The issue in this case concerns support payments to ETCs for prepaid Lifeline subscribers in cure periods because of their non-usage of the service.

Google, Facebook Agreed to Team Up Against Possible Antitrust Action, Draft Lawsuit Says

Facebook and Google agreed to “cooperate and assist one another” if they ever faced an investigation into their pact to work together in online advertising, according to an unredacted version of a lawsuit filed by 10 states against Google. Ten Republican attorneys general, led by Texas, are alleging that the two companies cut a deal in September 2018 in which Facebook agreed not to compete with Google’s online advertising tools in return for special treatment

Broadcast Deregulation Foes File Supreme Court Brief

In advance of the Supreme Court's Jan.

The ‘app store’ before there was an App Store wants to liberate your iPhone … again

A new lawsuit brought by one of Apple’s oldest foes seeks to force the iPhone maker to allow alternatives to the App Store, the latest in a growing number of cases that aim to curb the tech giant’s power. The lawsuit was filed by the maker of Cydia, a once-popular app store for the iPhone that launched in 2007, before Apple created its own version.

Mediacom files lawsuit against city of West Des Moines over Google Fiber build

MCC Iowa, which is a subsidiary of Mediacom Communications, has filed a lawsuit against the City of West Des Moines and its city council. MCC's petition of declaratory judgment alleges the West Des Moines City Council improperly used taxpayer-based financing bonds that were intended for urban blight and poverty projects to build a $50 million city-wide conduit network for exclusive use by Google Fiber. Filed in Iowa District Court for Polk County, the petition outlined seven specific violations of the law and requested that West Des Moines suspend activities related to the conduit network.

CWA seeks regulatory conditions in Connecticut on Frontier's bankruptcy reorganization

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is seeking conditions be imposed by the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) in regards to Frontier's Chapter 11 reorganization plan. PURA is tasked with reviewing Frontier's bankruptcy plan. CWA is trying to make sure the bankruptcy plan improves services and keeps jobs in Connecticut.

Trump Appointee Unconstitutionally Interfered With Voice Of America, Judge Rules

The chief executive over the Voice of America and its sister networks has acted unconstitutionally in investigating what he claimed was a deep-seated bias against President Trump by his own journalists, Chief US District Judge for the District of Columbia Beryl Howell has ruled. Citing the journalists' First Amendment protections, Judge Howell ordered US Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack to stop interfering in the news service's news coverage and editorial personnel matters.