Julie O’Neill, of counsel in Morrison & Foerster’s Privacy + Data Security Group, was quoted regarding AT&T v. FTC in the article, “Congress May Act if 9th Circuit Nixes Rehearing in 'AT&T v. FTC' as Trump Election Complicates Things,” published by Communications Daily on November 14, 2016.
She said that the FTC, to no avail, has asked Congress for years to repeal the common carrier exemption that says the FTC can't regulate telecom companies. "This case may change the view of those in Congress because, as it stands, it leaves many companies completely outside of the FTC’s consumer protection jurisdiction (especially since the FCC’s 2015 network neutrality order," she said. The FCC's authority over certain consumer protection issues within the FTC’s scope is limited, said Ms. O'Neill. "Case law suggests that the FCC cannot police purely non-common carrier activities. And, for the conduct it can regulate, it is limited to conduct going back just one year, and it is not authorized to seek consumer refunds."