Millions of dollars in subsidies to Sprint under scrutiny

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – The Federal Communications Commission says Sprint Corporation received tens of millions of dollars in subsidies for low-income subscribers who were not using the mobile service.

The FCC says it is cracking down on abuse of the “Lifeline Program” that gives low-income consumers a $9.25 monthly subsidy for phone or broadband services.

885,000 subscribers who were not using the service represent nearly 30% of Sprint’s Lifeline subscriber base.

One Democratic FCC commissioner called on the agency to pause its review of the $26.5 billion merger of Sprint and T-Mobile over the issue.

The U.S. Justice Department approved the Sprint-T-Mobile merger in July, but it faces a court challenge from 18 state attorneys general.

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