Court case

Developments in telecommunications policy being made in the legal system.

Ohio Lawsuit to Declare Google a Common Carrier Not Obviously Stupid – But No Sure Deal Either.

The Ohio Attorney General asked an Ohio state court to declare Google a common carrier and/or public utility under the laws of Ohio and Ohio common law. The complaint is novel -- and not obviously stupid. But it has some real obstacles to overcome.  As Feld has written at length before, the history of common carrier regulation goes back 500 years in the common law.

Google Should Be Treated as Utility, Ohio Attorney General Argues in New Lawsuit

Ohio’s attorney general filed a lawsuit asking a judge to rule that Google is a public utility. Ohio said that it is the first state in the country to bring a lawsuit seeking a court declaration that Google is a common carrier subject under state law to government regulation.

In Antitrust Trial, Tim Cook Argues Apple Doesn’t Hurt App Makers

In a major moment in Apple’s efforts to fend off growing scrutiny of its power, Tim Cook took the stand in a trial for the first time as Apple’s chief executive and defended his business from accusations that it hurt app makers to expand its profits.

FTC Sues Frontier Communications for Misrepresenting Internet Speeds

The Federal Trade Commission, along with law enforcement agencies from six states, sued Internet service provider Frontier Communications, alleging that the company did not provide many consumers with Internet service at the speeds it promised them, and charged many of them for more expensive and higher-speed service than Frontier actually provided. In a complaint, the FTC and its state partners allege that Frontier advertised and sold Internet service in several plans, or tiers, based on download speed.

Net Neutrality 'Vital' To Protect The Public, California Tells Appeals Court

California is urging a federal appeals court to leave in place a state net neutrality law that broadly prohibits broadband carriers from blocking or throttling traffic and from charging higher fees for prioritized delivery. “Congress has not established a federal regulatory regime that bars the states from taking steps to safeguard access to something as essential as the Internet,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta argues in papers filed with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Trade groups go to war with New York over low-income broadband law

Trade groups representing AT&T, Verizon and other telecom companies are opening fire on a new law requiring them to provide discounted internet service to low-income households in New York. USTelecom, CTIA, the New York State Telecommunications Association, and others representing smaller companies 

Supreme Court Cuts Federal Trade Commission Powers to Recover Ill-Gotten Gains

The Supreme Court curbed the Federal Trade Commission’s longtime practice of seeking to recover ill-gotten gains in court from companies and individuals who cheat or mislead consumers, upending a central enforcement tool the agency has relied on for decades. The court, in an opinion by Justice Stephen Breyer, ruled unanimously that a 1973 law, which gives the FTC the right to seek court injunctions to stop fraudulent or deceptive commercial activity, doesn’t grant the commission the power to seek financial judgments as well.

FCC Signals Potential Different Outcome for Net Neutrality Remand

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission has asked the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to hold off on hearing a challenge to its response to the court's remand of its Restoring Internet Freedom net neutrality deregulation order, suggesting that challenge could ultimately be moot depending on how the new FCC deals with multiple petitions to reconsider that response. "Only one of the three Commissioners who voted for the Remand Order remains on the Commission, while two of the remaining Commissioners dissented, and one of those dissenters has since become the Acting Chairwoma

Broadband Industry Urges Appeals Court To Block California Net Neutrality Rules

Broadband carriers are urging a federal appellate court to prevent California from enforcing its net neutrality law, which was passed after the Federal Communications Commission repealed nationwide broadband regulations. In a filing with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, lobbying groups for the cable and telecom industry argue that broadband is an interstate service, and therefore not subject to regulation by individual states.