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Prepaid mobile provider TracFone to pay $40 million settlement

WASHINGTON — The nation’s largest prepaid mobile provider, TracFone, will pay $40 million to settle government claims that it misled smartphone customers with promises of unlimited data service.

The Federal Trade Commission says TracFone promised unlimited data in its advertising, but then drastically slowed or even cut off consumers’ mobile data after they hit a certain limit.

TracFone’s prepaid wireless service is sold under various brands, including Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile and Telcel America.

Consumers with phones operated by TracFone who had their service slowed or cut will be able to request a refund.

The commission sued AT&T late last year over the same issue — promising unlimited data but then allegedly slowing or throttling a consumer’s Web browsing after a certain amount of data was used.

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