• On July 31, 2012, the FCC announced that Verizon Wireless entered into a consent decree to resolve a complaint that it had unlawfully blocked third-party tethering applications on Android phones in violation of the FCC’s Open Internet rules. Verizon agreed to pay a $1.25 million “voluntary contribution” to the U.S. Treasury and to implement a detailed Compliance Plan that will terminate in 24 months. The FCC launched an investigation into the matter after it learned that Verizon had convinced Google to remove several tethering applications for the Android in order to block Verizon customers from using them to circumvent Verizon’s tethering charge. According to a statement issued by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the consent decree shows that compliance with FCC rules is “not optional,” and that “[t]he open device and application obligations were core conditions when Verizon purchased the C-block spectrum. The steps taken today will not only protect consumer choice, but defend certainty for innovators to continue to deliver new services and apps without fear of being blocked.” The press release regarding the consent decree is available here. To read the Consent Decree, click here.