AT&T settles unlimited data throttling suit, will pay $60 million

AT&T promised its customers unlimited data, but the company didn't maintain the speed of the data transmission for heavy users.

The company limited the speed, a practice known as throttling, as unlimited data customers used their data.

The Federal Trade Commission sued AT&T saying the company not only slowed down the speed of the network, but also didn't inform customers.

A settlement was reached in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, the FTC announced Tuesday.

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The suit was filed in 2014 but issues with unlimited data speeds dated back to 2011, USA Today reported.

AT&T customers who had unlimited plans before 2011 and were throttled will see a portion of the $60 million settlement as a refund. The FTC said those who are eligible for the refund, in either the form of a credit for current customers or a check for former subscribers, will not have to submit a claim for the money.

The company still offers an unlimited data plan but discloses that it can slow the speed of service when the network is busy, USA Today reported.

AT&T spokesman said the company was "fully prepared to defend ourselves, but decided on settling was in the best interests of consumers," CBS News reported.

Studies found AT&T was not alone when it comes to throttling. A study found Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon also throttle content, CBS News reported.

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