FTC says Sprint received government subsidies subscribers aren’t using

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The Federal Communications Commission says Sprint Corp. received tens of millions of dollars in government subsidies for 885,000 low-income subscribers who were not using the service.

(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.

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