FCC fines T-Mobile $200M over Sprint’s alleged abuse of low-income subsidies

T-Mobile Sprint merger

T-Mobile was hit with a $200 million fine due to subsidies claimed by Sprint prior to the companies merging.


Josh Miller / CNET

US telecom giant  T-Mobile will pay a $200 million fine as part of a settlement to resolve a probe into Sprint’s alleged abuses of a federal program aimed at low-income subscribers, the Federal Communications Commission announced Wednesday. 

The settlement comes after an FCC audit found the Sprint, which merged with T-Mobile earlier this year, was claiming monthly subsidies for 885,000 customers as part of the federal Lifeline program, even though those subscribers weren’t using the service. 

Lifeline directs $1.5 billion per year to help low-income families pay for phone service by giving out a $9.25-per-month subsidy. Originally intended to provide discounts on landlines, the program

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