California court upholds $12M fine against Cingular

A California state appeals court rejected Cingular Wireless' contention that a $12-million fine imposed by the California Public Utilities Commission against the operator in 2004 was preempted by federal law. "While the commission is preempted from regulating either rates or the entry of a wireless provider into the market, it is not preempted from regulating other terms and conditions of wireless telephone service," the court said. The CPUC's fine was proposed in 2003 after the commission ruled that Cingular charged early termination fees and prohibited refunds during a time when the operator aggressively marketed service even though it had network problems. Cingular continues to maintain its innocence. The company said it is considering its next option in the courts. "The claims about our business practices, network, and customer service quality were completely unfounded five years ago," Cingular said in a statement.

For more about Cingular's $12M fine:
- read this article from RCR Wireless News