Appeals court upholds ruling that Verizon’s marketing tactics are illegal
Yesterday, a three-judge appeals panel upheld a regulatory ruling that Verizon illegally offered incentives to phone customers in order to keep them from migrating over to rival providers.
Previously, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had ruled against Verizon for its marketing tactics (story here). A panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with the FCC’s finding.
In order to keep customers from switching over to other carriers, including VoIP offerings from cable operators, Verizon offered incentives to keep subscribers while their numbers were being switched to new service operators.
Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks requested that the Federal Communications Commission take action against Verizon over its use of proprietary customer information in order to keep customers.
"Today's ruling promotes competition by protecting the rights of consumers when they make the switch to a new local telephone provider,” said National Cable & Telecommunications Association President and CEO Kyle McSlarrow. “We are pleased that the court upheld the FCC's decision, which permits even greater numbers of consumers to seamlessly join the millions of other Americans who now enjoy the significant savings and benefits provided by our industry's competitive digital voice services."
The appeals court voted 3-0 in favor of upholding the FCC’s ruling.
“We are pleased that the court reaffirmed the FCC decision that Verizon’s practices were illegal and harmful to consumers and competition,” said Sena Fitzmaurice, senior director of corporate communications and government affairs for Comcast. “Today’s ruling is a win for consumers who are saving billions of dollars a year because of the entry of cable companies into the local phone business. The decision will allow competition to continue to develop and ensure that consumers who choose to leave their incumbent phone provider will have their wishes respected.”
Verizon said that it was reviewing the appeals court order.