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FCC Fines T-Mobile $200 Million for Sprint Abuse of Lifeline Program

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Nov 4, 2020, 2:41 PM   by Rich Brome   @rbrome

T-Mobile and the FCC have agreed to settle an FCC investigation started in September 2019 alleging that Sprint defrauded the US government by collecting approximately $8 million per month in Lifeline subsidies for 885,000 ineligible accounts. Lifeline helps low-income consumers afford basic phone and internet service. Sprint participated in the Lifeline program under the Assurance Wireless brand. T-Mobile acquired Sprint earlier this year. As part of the settlement, T-Mobile will pay $200 million, and agree to additional controls to prevent such fraud in the future. Although this is by far the largest such settlement, the FCC fined other companies for similar abuse of the Lifeline program in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018.

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