WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Communications Commission said on Tuesday, Sprint Corp (S. N) will receive tens of millions of dollars as a monthly government subsidies, 885,000 to low-income customers who are not using the service, and said that its Enforcement Bureau is investigating.
FILE PHOTO: a Sprint logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, USA, on April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
The FCC has been working to crack down on abuse of the Lifeline program,” which provides low-income consumers a $9.25 monthly subsidy for telephone or broadband services. Of the 885,000 subscribers to account for nearly 30% of the final Sprint of the Lifeline customer base.
Democratic FCC Commissioner, Geoffrey Starks said that the disclosure has to be made aware of the agency is to pause the review of the $26.5 billion tie-up of Sprint and T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.(O) “until we can figure this out.”
Sprint said it is “committed to the repayment of the federal and state governments for grant payments, which were collected in so-called”, but added that the payments would be “of no relevance to the final Sprint of the financial results.”
The company said the problem stemmed from the FCC’s conclusion in 2016, and to approve fundamental changes to the Lifeline program, in which the final Sprint for the update on how it is calculated, and therefore eligible Lifeline customers. Sprint has said: “there was an error with the new requirements, which were carried out in July of 2017.”
The company added that it has “engaged an independent third-party to review the results of the assessment and on the effectiveness of the operational change.”
The FCC said Sprint’s “apparent disregard of the non-use of the rule in the first instance, it came to light after an investigation by the Oregon Public Utility Commission.
Of the 885,000 subscribers, representing almost 10% of the Lifeline program total customer base.
“It is outrageous that a company claiming to have millions of tax-payer dollars for doing nothing at all. This gives a careless disregard for the rules of the program, and the American taxpayers ‘ money,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement on Tuesday.
In August, The circulation of a draft order for the approval of Sprint’s deal with T-Mobile, but it’s still in progress.
The united states Department of Justice approved the merger in July, but the deal is in a court of law the challenge of the 18 state attorneys-general. A trial has been set for Dec. 9 up to the challenge.
The third-and fourth-biggest U.S. companies have agreed to divest Sprint prepaid companies, in satellite-tv company Dish Network Corp. (a) creation of a fourth AMERICAN mobile operator. Critics, including a number of state attorneys general, to say that the competition is not going to increase the price of the cell phone plans will continue to rise.
Report by David Shepardson; Editing by Dan Grebler