SBC Communications Inc. paid $6.1 million to the U.S. government for failing to meet regulatory conditions stemming from its $80.6-billion purchase of Ameritech Corp., federal regulators said Thursday.
From August to October, the San Antonio-based company missed some performance goals used to monitor its treatment of competitors when leasing lines, switches and other pieces of its network, the Federal Communications Commission said.
Most of the problems occurred in the five-state Ameritech region that includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
SBC, the nation's No. 2 local phone company, said it transferred technicians to the region, invested more money in the network and offered rebates to appease customers. It said the problems are resolved.
In other action, the FCC proposed that AT&T Corp., the largest U.S. long-distance phone company, pay $640,000 for allegedly switching customers to its service without permission.
The FCC charges that the company changed the designated carrier on 14 phone lines without first getting customers' approval.
California state regulators on Thursday also approved settlements with Coleman Enterprises Inc. and its billing agent QAI Inc. that will yield $245,000 in restitution payments to consumers who had their long-distance company illegally changed or had unauthorized charges added to their phone bills by the two companies.
St. Paul, Minn.-based Coleman Enterprises, which sells phone service under the name Local Long Distance Inc., also lost its license to do business in California for at least five years.