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AT&T faced heat from regulators over the unlimited plans. Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

In a major victory for the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court is allowing its lawsuit to continue against AT&T over the internet giant’s alleged throttling of “unlimited” plans.

The bigger picture: The court's ruling affirms the FTC's authority to regulate part of a telecom company's operations. That bolsters the case among backers of the recent net neutrality repeal that the FTC is equipped to take the Federal Communication Commission’s place in policing internet providers.

The details:

  • The FTC sued AT&T for telling customers that some data plans were unlimited, but then slowing down speeds once they'd exceeded a certain data cap.
  • The FTC doesn't have jurisdiction over “common carriers,” like phone services, that are highly regulated. AT&T had argued that, because some of its business is considered a "common carrier," the FTC didn't have authority to take action.
  • A panel of judges from the Ninth Circuit’s U.S. Court of Appeals found that the FTC could regulate aspects of AT&T’s business that do not count as common carriers, even if other parts of its holdings do. That reversed an earlier court ruling in AT&T’s favor.

What it means: This could open the door to more net neutrality-related enforcement from the FTC. It also weakens the argument of some net neutrality supporters that the FCC is best positioned to police internet service providers.

What they’re saying: “Today’s decision on jurisdiction does not address the merits of the case. We are reviewing the opinion and continue to believe we ultimately will prevail,” said an AT&T spokesperson in a statement.

Go deeper

39 mins ago - World

Putin to demand legal guarantee against NATO expansion in call with Biden

Biden and Putin meeting in Geneva in June. Photo: Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not expand east — including to Ukraine — and plans to raise the issue in an upcoming phone call with President Biden, according to the Kremlin.

Why it matters: Russia has massed more than 94,000 troops on the border with Ukraine and could be preparing for a large-scale invasion at the end of January, Ukraine's defense minister said Friday.

A tale of two jobs reports

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Whatever you think about the economy, you’ll find something in this morning’s conflicting jobs report to reinforce your views: America's job market is white-hot and the labor market is anemic.

Between the lines: The conflict comes from the two separate surveys the government uses to compile the report.

Elon Musk's mega-billion bounty

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Here's how insanely rich Elon Musk is: He has unloaded $10 billion of his stock in the past month — and could do that 15+ more times given his silos of shares.