Class action lawsuits against Google and AT&T

    November 2010 was marked by large class action lawsuits against Google and AT&T, and yet a couple of weeks before the end of the month.



    on November 2, all users of the Gmail mail service (including those who use their own domains as an email domain), whose USA was indicated in the country of residence, received a letter from Google saying that they filed a class action lawsuit against the company because of Google Buzz, and a link was given to the site created by the plaintiffs.
    A special newsletter that can be found on the site says that on February 9, 2010, Google, by launching its Google Buzz service, automatically subscribed all Gmail users to this service, and through Buzz it was possible to view the latest contacts from Gmail without the user's knowledge. Breaking the privacy laws of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 USC §2510 et seq; (ii) the Stored Communications Act, 18 USC §2701 et seq; (iii) the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 USC §1030 et seq; (iv).
    A group of lawyers based on this violation filed a lawsuit against Google on behalf of all Gmail users from the USA, as a result of which Google allocated an amount of $ 8.5 million to cover expenses on this issue.

    Possible actions:

    The lawyers who started this process offer the following actions

    : 1. Exclude yourself from this lawsuit. Thus, you can file a lawsuit against Google to grab a portion of 8.5 million dollars. But you need to have time to submit an application before December 6.
    2. To object to this claim. This is for ardent fans of Google who want in this case to take the side of Google.
    3. To ask to speak in court in favor of this lawsuit. A good method to light up for future lawyers.
    4. Do nothing, while you automatically agree to this lawsuit and are part of this class action.

    Where is the money, Lebowski ?! What is the benefit?

    Of the $ 8.5 million allocated (plus a delay if someone incurred financial losses because of this), provided that Google loses in court (which is very likely) - 25% plus all associated costs for the hearing will go to lawyers, plus each of 7 assistants will receive for $ 2500. Also, all legal costs will be deducted from this amount. Roughly speaking, about $ 2.5 will go to lawyers. It seemed like happiness - the rest of $ 6 million will be handed out by the hearts of Gmail users. But no. This amount will be distributed among organizations that deal with privacy issues of Internet users (legal cutting of dough in American way). I’m not even surprised if Google is the creator of a couple of such organizations. If we assume that there are about 100 million users of Google Buzz in the United States, then everyone will receive 6 cents each.


    A hearing on this issue will begin on January 31, 2011 at 9am.
    Link to the collective action site .


    Essence: In mid-November, all users of Iphone and other smartphones that had Internet access enabled (consider all smartphone users, because this service is required for all owners of such phones) received an SMS message from AT&T informing that a collective was sent against the company lawsuit for illegal tax collection.
    In addition to collecting fees for communication services, every state bill includes all kinds of government fees and taxes. What is the percentage of the fee for each of these services - I find it difficult to say. Here is an example of my last bill from AT&T

    60.00 - for the main number
    9.99 - for the additional number
    10 - $ 5 for 200 SMS for each number
    60 - $ 30 for unlimited Internet (required for smartphones)
    Total: 139.99
    And here are the taxes from this amount:

    Government Fees & Taxes
    CHCF A 0.08
    CHCF B 0.33
    Relay Service Device Fund 0.14
    State 911 Tax 0.37
    Teleconnect Fund 0.06
    Universal Lifeline 0.86
    City Utility Users Tax 7.75

    i.e. $ 9.6 plus a few more bucks on the side are spent on all sorts of taxes, etc.
    But then a law office appeared which, on the basis of the law Internet Tax Freedom Act, 47 USC § 151 (1998), which states that the Internet is not taxed, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of all AT&T users. Those. they should have taken taxes not from 139.99, but from 79.99. Those. if you connected the Internet from this mobile operator (and everyone who ever bought an Iphone in the USA with a 2-year contract) during the period from November 1, 2005 to September 7, 2010, then you must return the overpaid taxes. I compared taxes in telephone bills for the period before September 7 and after and noticed that the tax amount used to be 14.96 instead of 9.6, i.e. return amount of 2.68 per month to each smartphone owner. The total amount to be returned, I think, will be a couple of billion dollars!

    Possible actions:

    Similar to the Google situation.

    What are the benefits?

    Since September 2010, AT&T users have stopped taking tax from the Internet, plus at the end of the hearing on this issue, all overpaid money will be returned to all subscribers. In my case, it should be something around $ 100.
    There is no information about the amount of money that will go to lawyers. In general, the scheme is as follows - AT&T must request a refund from the state and return it to its subscribers. The situation of AT&T will be seriously shaken if the state finds legal methods to refuse to refund.

    Bottom line:

    A hearing on this issue will begin on March 11, 2011 at 9.30 in the morning.
    Link to the collective action site .

    PS I apologize in advance for some possible errors in the text, several years of lack of practice in spoken and written Russian make themselves felt not from the best side.

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