BUSINESS

FCC said to seek $105-million fine from Sprint for bogus billing

Bloomberg News

Regulators plan to fine Sprint Corp. $105 million for billing phone customers for unwanted services, including horoscopes, in the latest U.S. action against a large carrier for so-called cramming, two officials said.

The penalty against the third-largest U.S. mobile provider was proposed by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, said agency officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the action hasn't been announced. The five agency commissioners must vote on the proposed fine.

Kim Hart, an FCC spokeswoman, declined to comment. Jeffrey Silva, a spokesman for Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint, said the company doesn't comment on "rumor and speculation."

AT&T Inc. agreed to pay $105 million in October to resolve charges it bills customers millions of dollars for unauthorized third-party subscriptions and horoscopes, ring tones and love tips.

The Federal Trade Commission in July sued the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, T-Mobile US Inc., over similar claims. The company is in talks to settle the case.

At an Oct. 8 news conference discussing AT&T's penalty, Wheeler said there are "a lot of other carriers involved."

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