This is another page in the book of AT&T's still ongoing lawsuit with the FTC where the US Federal Trade Commision sued AT&T. The original lawsuit was filed in 2014 when AT&T was accused of throttling unlimited data subscribers as early as 5GB into the month without properly informing them.
AT&T's defense was that it was its common carrier status supposedly did not make it eligible to be under the jurisditcion of the FTC. in 2015, a judge rejected the claim, then in 2016, a three-member appeal's court expemted AT&T from this lawsuit because of its common carrier status. Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that a federal appeals court has rejected AT&T's common carrier status as basis to exemplify the carrier from this lawsuit.
The full-panel Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the FTC. It said that the FTC's original argument cited services that did not fall under AT&T's common carrier status - so the lawsuit is indeed valid. Should everything go in favor of the FTC, AT&T customers who had their services throttled could be reimbursed for their troubles.
"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." an AT&T representative tells Reuters in response to this new ruling.