(NBC NEWS) — The Federal Communications Commission says Sprint Corporation received tens of millions of dollars in subsidies for low-income subscribers who were not using the mobile service.
The FCC says it is cracking down on abuse of the “lifeline program” that gives low-income consumers a $9.25 monthly subsidy for phone or broadband services.
885,000subscribers, who were not using the service, represent nearly 30-percent of Sprint’s lifeline subscriber base.
One Democratic FCC Commissioner called on the agency to pause its review of the 26.5 billion dollar merger of Sprint and T-Mobile over the issue.
The U.S. Justice Department approved the Sprint/T-Mobile merger in July, but it faces a court challenge from 18 state attorneys general.