The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed a case brought by the FTC against AT&T for allegedly violating Section 5(a) of the FTC Act by reducing internet speeds for customers with unlimited data plans once they exceeded certain usage levels (called “data throttling”). At issue in the case was the scope of the exemption to the FTC Act for “common carriers.” The FTC argued that while a substantial part of AT&T’s activity constitutes common carrier activity, data service was not a common carrier activity at the time AT&T engaged in the alleged activities, so the exemption did not apply to these activities. The Ninth Circuit, however, held that the common carrier exemption is “status-based,” not “activity-based”; thus, AT&T, due to its “status” as a common carrier, was exempt from the FTC Act.