Verizon Wireless and Sprint will pay a combined total of $158 million to settle billing complaint charges filed by the Federal Communications Commission. Under the terms of the settlement, Verizon will pay $90 million, while Sprint will have to spend $68 million, for a total of $158 million. At least $120 million of the total amount will go to reimbursing consumers hit with the charges.
The FCC said that both companies billed their customers for "unauthorized third-party premium text messaging services", which has become known under the term "cramming." The government agency previously settled a similar case with T-Mobile in 2014, for the price of $90 million. AT&T also agreed to pay $105 million to the FCC to settle its own "cramming" charges in 2014.