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FCC to wireless carriers: can you please explain early termination fees?

January 26, 2010 |  2:59 pm

Nexus-one-2 The FCC sent a fusillade of inquiry letters out Tuesday to the nation's four major wireless providers -- plus Google -- asking for an explanation of early termination fees. That's the industry practice of charging users hundreds of dollars for opting out of their cellphone contracts before they expire.

One of the questions was, in essence, what's the point of these fees?

"Press reports and public statements from wireless companies have attributed ETFs to several different factors," the FCC letters read.  "What is the rationale for your ETF(s)?"

For more on the story, including why Google was included in the inquiry, read the full post at our Technology blog.

-- David Sarno

Photo:  Google's Nexus One smartphone.  Photo credit: Simone Brunozzi / Flickr