Public Knowledge Sees Lawsuit Over Unlawful Text Message Blocking as Another Reason for FCC ActionSeptember 17, 2010
Earlier today, EZ Texting, a mobile marketing company, filed suit in U.S. District Court in New York City against T-Mobile for unilaterally blocking its customers from exchanging text messages with EZ Texting’s customers, which the company said could put it out of business. The parts of the suit are here and here. The declaration of Shane Neman, CEO of EZ Texting, is here.
According to the suit, T-Mobile began its blocking on Sept. 10 because it “did not approve” of EZ Texting doing business with a web site that provides information on the location of legal medical marijuana dispensaries in California.
Even though EZ Texting ended its business relationship with the site, T-Mobile continued to block its short code, which is used by hundreds of businesses and organizations. The company said it will be put out of business unless T-Mobile restores its service.
Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, said: “This case is yet another example of a totally arbitrary decision by a carrier to block text message calls between consumers and organizations they want to communicate with. The FCC should put a fast end to this blocking by issuing the ruling we asked them for three years ago. EZ Texting and other companies should be able to focus on growing their business rather than filing lawsuits to prevent blocking.”
A copy of the lawsuit was also to be filed with the FCC in the still-open docket of the text-messaging petition.