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T-Mobile's Chief Blames FTC Charges on 'Big Greedy Carriers' T-Mobile's Chief Blames FTC Charges on 'Big Greedy Carriers'

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Tech

T-Mobile's Chief Blames FTC Charges on 'Big Greedy Carriers'

"Un-carrier" CEO John Legere calls the government’s lawsuit "unfounded."

T-Mobile President and CEO John Legere(Getty Images)

T-Mobile CEO John Legere says big lobbying is behind a federal lawsuit accusing his company of scamming customers.

The Federal Trade Commission sued T-Mobile on Tuesday for making hundreds of millions of dollars from unwanted charges on customers' monthly phone bills—a practice known as mobile cramming.

In a series of tweets Tuesday, Legere suggested that the big carriers, such as AT&T and Verizon, had a hand in the FTC charges.

 

"So this is how the big carrier lobbyists in Washington work! Hey FTC did you lose Randall's address?" Legere tweeted, referring to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.

"Looks like lobbying work of big greedy carriers!" he added.

The T-Mobile CEO, who is known for his colorful language, defended T-Mobile in a blog post Tuesday, saying the company stopped these unwanted charges last year and is actively working to refund customers.

"T-Mobile is fighting harder than any of the carriers to change the way the wireless industry operates and we are disappointed that the FTC has chosen to file this action against the most pro-consumer company in the industry rather than the real bad actors," Legere wrote.

According to the FTC, T-Mobile knew about the unwanted charges—for services like flirting tips, horoscope information, and celebrity gossip—but continued to place them on consumers' bills anyway. T-Mobile took a cut of 35-40 percent from the charges, which were often difficult to notice on bills, the FTC said.

"It's wrong for a company like T-Mobile to profit from scams against its customers when there were clear warning signs the charges it was imposing were fraudulent," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement.

"The FTC's goal is to ensure that T-Mobile repays all its customers for these crammed charges."

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this article, the name of AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was misspelled.

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