Robocalls may be the bane of any decent person. Industry players and regulators have committed to stopping and punishing those evildoers. Indeed, the FCC has been going after them and just proposed a record $225 million fine against two telemarketers who spoofed about 1 billion robocalls over the course of four-and-a-half months in 2019. There's also a lawsuit led by seven state attorneys general that could cause some more damage. But will these dastardly dialers end up paying anywhere close to these numbers? The short answer is probably not. Read More
It has been a weird couple of months for ZTE since the US Commerce Department imposed a complete trade ban on ZTE that cut it off from its US suppliers. ZTE was forced to shut down while it worked on a solution with the government, and now it's back in action. The Commerce Department has confirmed that ZTE followed through with the new settlement requirements, so the trade ban is no more. Read More
It's been nothing but bad news for ZTE over the last couple months, but there's finally a positive development for the Chinese technology firm. The US Commerce Department has temporarily lifted part of the trade ban that effectively shut down ZTE back in April. This will help ZTE keep the lights on as it works toward full compliance. Read More
Chinese technology firm ZTE says it has forked over $1 billion to the US government. This is the first step toward ZTE returning to operation after a ban on purchasing US technology in April forced it to partially shut down. However, it's not out of the woods yet as the entire incident has become a political firestorm for the US administration. Read More
After the U.S. Department of Commerce banned ZTE from importing US-made components, due to the company violating an agreement it made in 2017, ZTE shut down most operations while it fought to lift the ban. Earlier this month, Trump announced he wanted to help ZTE, as part of negotiating a trade deal with China. Read More
Google's ongoing regulatory headaches in the EU have today resulted in a whopping $2.7 billion fine, the most significant regulatory penalty in the EU since the 2004 Microsoft decision. This fine stems from Google's handling of shopping searches and the way its own comparison tools are allegedly given preferential treatment. It's now up to Google to change its search practices, and that could affect the way it operates in other regions as well. Read More
Google is no stranger to legal conflict in Europe: between accusations of monopolistic practices with Android and web search tools, to a forced implementation of the European Union's "right to be forgotten" laws, to butting heads with German privacy advocates over Street View data, it's safe to say that the company's relationship with the continent is... complicated. The latest complication comes from the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, which will reportedly hand down an unprecedented fine over Google's alleged violations of antitrust laws. Read More
Mobile carriers like to play fast and loose with the word "unlimited" when it comes to data plans. They're often technically unlimited, but only fast enough to be useful until you hit a certain barrier. MVNOs operated by TracFone including Net10 and Straight Talk were a little more shady than most, and that led to today's FTC announcement of a $40 million fine against the company.
If you're a hotel manager, especially at a big, fancy hotel where people can expect to pay a convenience fee for running water, you might be tempted to charge an iniquitous amount of money for your guests to access the Internet. Your guests, in turn, might tell you to suck it and use the Wi-Fi hotspot feature built into just about every new smartphone being sold today. That might make you turn around and consider doing something drastic, like, say, implement an elaborate system of jammers to block or spoof signals and make personal Wi-Fi devices useless. You might also be a dick. Read More
Bombastic T-Mobile CEO John Legere responded forcefully when the Federal Trade Commission filed suit against the Un-carrier over the summer for profiting from so-called "cramming." That's when a carrier allows third-parties to add premium SMS charges to customer bills without proper warning. Today the FTC has announced T-Mobile is settling the case for $90 million, most of which will go to customers who were charged for unauthorized services.