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Judge rules Sprint early termination fees illegal

The ruling, by a California state judge, is a major win for class action lawyers who've been seeking to extract large sums from cellphone companies over the long prevalent practice of charging fees to consumers who leave contracts early. Sprint had prevailed in an earlier round of the case decided before a jury, but the judge's ruling invoked a different theory of liability. Declan McCullagh at CNet finds the lawsuit's logic "muddled": "Someone has to pay for the cost of the handset. The customer either pays upfront or, if it's subsidized by the carrier, over time in the form of an early termination fee that--in Sprint's case--was $200."

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.