T-Mobile Facing Big FCC Fines in Wake of Failed AT&T Merger

By Steve Anderson April 17, 2012

T-Mobile and AT&T recently undertook an effort to merge, but the effort didn't go off quite as well as was hoped, and thus, the two decided not to merge after all. T-Mobile got a payoff from AT&T after the failed merge, but it looks like a chunk of that payoff may be going to the government...and not for taxes, either.

T-Mobile is facing fines from the FCC, following the FCC's claims that T-Mobile violated rules dating back to 2003; specifically, that T-Mobile failed to stock a number of hearing-aid compatible handset models as required by the Hearing Aid Compatibility Order that the FCC issued back in 2003. The handsets in question were required to offer support for acoustic coupling, as well as a set of devices that worked with inductive coupling.

While T-Mobile did offer the required devices, the problem that led to the FCC fine was over a matter of the total numbers of devices in each bracket offered, which did not meet FCC guidelines. As a result, the FCC is planning on issuing fines of $819,000 in response.

Naturally, T-Mobile issued a statement asserting their commitment to providing the devices that the FCC demanded, as well as their commitment toward ensuring that hearing aid users could get devices that work with their particular hearing aids. Since the problem seems to be one of numbers rather than a complete failure to offer the devices in the first place, it's hard to fault T-Mobile particularly hard, or see where a six-figure penalty is justified, especially a high six figure penalty.

But still, considering that T-Mobile takes in $21 billion in annual revenue, a fine of $819,000 is minor by comparison. And it's certainly important that hearing aid users have a variety of choices in the handset market, so some kind of penalty was likely appropriate. Hopefully this will result in more options for hearing-aid handset users, who certainly deserve as much choice in their handsets as users without hearing aids.






Edited by Jennifer Russell

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More

Satellite Imaging - Petabytes of Developer, Business Opportunities

By: Doug Mohney    4/11/2018

Hollywood has programmed society into believing satellite imaging as a magic, all-seeing tool, but the real trick is in analysis. Numerous firms are f…

Read More

Blockchain in Space

By: Doug Mohney    4/10/2018

The fact is that everyone is putting a special spin upon blockchain this minute. Given that, it's no surprise a number of companies are discussing dis…

Read More