• On February 3, 2011, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California provisionally denied approval for a proposed settlement of the class action brought against Hughes Communications regarding early termination fees and download limits, as well as claims for violation of California’s false advertising and unfair competition laws. Chiding plaintiffs’ counsel, the court noted that “Information fundamental to class certification and settlement, such as the size of the class and amount of the award, has not been provided.” The court also ruled that “the parties should ensure the notice and summary of notice, in clear and plain language, communicates to class members their rights and responsibilities under the proposed settlement.” Walter v. Hughes Communications Inc., No. 09-2136 (N.D. Cal.).
  • On February 3, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the North Carolina Utilities Commission’s and federal district court’s rulings that AT&T North Carolina did not breach its interconnection agreement (ICA) with dPi Teleconnect. dPi, a reseller of prepaid retail telephone services, sought promotional credits for the Line Connection Charge Waiver, which AT&T denied based on language in the parties’ ICA that “promotions will be made available only to end users who would have qualified for the promotion had it been provided by [AT&T] directly.” AT&T had submitted unrebutted testimony that only customers purchasing certain features qualified for the promotion, whereas dPi argued that its customers qualified because several charge-per-use features were blocked. Rejecting dPi’s argument, the court of appeals concluded that “the promotion refers to “‘purchase[d]’ features – not the costless deactivation of charge-per-use features.” dPi Teleconnect LLC v. Owens, Nos. 07-2066, et al. (4th Cir.).