Consumers harmed by mobile cramming practices now eligible for refunds
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III and Bill Giannini, acting Director of the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs today announced settlements with Sprint Corporation ("Sprint") and Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless ("Verizon") that include $158 million in payments. The settlement with the state of Tennessee, the other 49 states, and the District of Columbia resolves allegations that Sprint and Verizon placed charges for third-party services on consumers' mobile telephone bills that were not authorized by the consumers, a practice known as "mobile cramming."
Cramming on mobile phone bills typically involves a $9.99 per month fee for "premium" text message subscription services (also known as "PSMS" subscriptions) such as horoscopes, trivia, and sports scores that the consumers have never heard of or requested...read the Sprint, Verizon release.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III today announced a settlement with Atmos Energy Corporation (Atmos) that significantly reduces a proposed rate increase to natural gas consumers. The settlement provides that consumers' rates will only increase 0.5%, which is substantially less than the 3.9% rate increase Atmos originally requested.
"This agreement accomplishes two very important things. It keeps rates down for consumers while allowing Atmos revenues sufficient to earn a fair and reasonable return on its capital investments," said Attorney General Slatery...read the Atmos release.
"Associate Solicitor General Counsel Joe Whalen did an excellent job arguing the case. He represented well the State of Tennessee, poised and articulate as he was when he successfully argued the case before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Our hope is that the Court affirms the Sixth Circuit and will leave it to the states to decide what marriages to recognize. This has been the longstanding province of the states and our position is that it should stay that way. Let the citizens of the state vote and decide such important issues. As the Sixth Circuit said, decide by democracy rather than litigation.
We have a great system and it is in the hands of the best jurists in the country. I am confident Tennesseans will respect the Court's decision, as they always have."...go to the release.
Company allegedly used deceptive business practices to target military families
Middle Tennessee auto dealer, Wholesale Inc., has agreed to immediately change its advertising practices and pay the State of Tennessee $50,000, Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III announced today.
A Davidson County Court approved the settlement between Wholesale, Inc., the Tennessee Attorney General's Office, and the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs. The agreement centers around two advertising mailers sent to would be customers. One of the mailers specifically targeted service members living near Fort Campbell....read the Wholesale, Inc. release.
House Bill 615/Senate Bill 1108 unconstitutional under both Tennessee and Federal Law
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III, at the request of the State Legislature, reviewed a proposed bill designating the Holy Bible the Official State Book of Tennessee.
"It is our legal opinion that the bill would violate not only the First Amendment of the United States Constitution but the Tennessee Constitution as well. Interestingly, the Tennessee Supreme Court has held the Tennessee Constitution to be more restrictive than the federal Constitution," Slatery said. The Tennessee Constitution says "no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship."....read the full release.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, along with ten other Attorneys Generals, joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today in seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent the proposed merger of Sysco and US Foods pending the FTC's administrative proceeding. The States and the FTC allege the merger would violate antitrust laws by significantly reducing competition nationwide and in 32 local markets for broadline foodservice distribution services, and that foodservice customers, including restaurants, hospitals, hotels, and schools, would likely face higher prices and diminished services.
"The proposed merger would result in one foodservice distributor controlling 81% of the distributor market in Memphis," Attorney General Slatery said. "This would have an obvious and adverse effect on businesses and consumers in the Memphis area so today Tennessee has joined the FTC and the other states to protect Tennessee's interest in maintaining a competitive market in this industry segment."....read the Sysco, US Foods release.