• On March 30, 2011, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in the appeal from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that incumbent local exchange carriers are entitled to charge higher “competitive” rates for their entrance facilities, rather than the lower cost-based rates that the FCC ordered them to charge pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Michigan’s Solicitor General argued that the “FCC’s conclusion is consistent with the policies embodied in the Act, because the practical result of affirming the Sixth Circuit opinion in this case is that a competitive carrier, like Sprint for example, will be forced either to charge its customers more for interconnection or lay tens of thousands of duplicate entrance facility cables, and those are precisely what the Act was designed to prevent.” The US Solicitor General agreed with the Michigan Solicitor General that the Sixth Circuit’s opinion should be reversed. When pressed by Justice Breyer why the FCC should not be allowed to resolve the issue, Michigan Bell’s counsel argued that FCC’s brief “doesn’t do what a decision on a primary jurisdiction referral would do.” Talk America Inc. v. Michigan Bell Tel. Co., No. 10-313.
  • On March 25, 2011, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed a class action securities fraud case brought against several MetroPCS executives for allegedly selling their own stocks just before MetroPCS’s stock price dropped from about $19 to $6 per share in 2009, while at the same time encouraging investors to retain or augment their MetroPCS holdings. As an example, the plaintiffs cited the CFO as saying to investors in May 2009 that MetroPCS is “perfectly situated to take advantage of these very, very difficult times when people are looking for value.” Judge Joe Fish ruled that the plaintiff’s complaint “falls far short of stating a plausible claim for fraud,” and that, to “the extent plaintiff is arguing that the defendants should have painted an even gloomier picture, the plaintiff’s position has no basis in law because the defendants are under no duty to cast their business in an overly gloomy or pejorative light.” Hopson v. MetroPCS Communications Inc., No. 3:09-cv-02392 (N.D. Tex.).