FCC: AT&T, Verizon shouldn't exempt own apps from data caps

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  • FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2012, photo, an AT&T logo is displayed on an AT&T Wireless retail store front, in Philadelphia. U.S. regulators are calling out AT&T and Verizon for exempting their own video apps from data caps on customers’ cellphones.
The Federal Communications Commission sent letters to the country’s biggest wireless carriers Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, saying the way they handle the practice, known as “zero rating,” can hurt competition and consumers. The agency had warned AT&T in November and said Friday, Dec. 2 that AT&T’s response did not ease its concerns. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2012, photo, an AT&T logo is displayed on an AT&T Wireless retail store front, in Philadelphia. U.S. regulators are calling out AT&T and Verizon for exempting their own video apps from data caps on customers’ cellphones. ... The Federal Communications Commission sent letters to the country’s biggest wireless carriers Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, saying the way they handle the practice, known as “zero rating,” can hurt competition and consumers. The agency had warned AT&T in November and said Friday, Dec. 2 that AT&T’s response did not ease its concerns. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 25, 2016 file photo signage is seen in a Verizon store, in North Andover, Mass. U.S. regulators are calling out Verizon and AT&T for exempting their own video apps from data caps on customers’ cellphones. The Federal Communications Commission sent letters to the country’s biggest wireless carriers Thursday, Dec. 1 saying the way they handle the practice, known as “zero rating,” can hurt competition and consumers. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

    FILE - In this July 25, 2016 file photo signage is seen in a Verizon store, in North Andover, Mass. U.S. regulators are calling out Verizon and AT&T for exempting their own video apps from data caps on customers’ cellphones. The Federal ... Communications Commission sent letters to the country’s biggest wireless carriers Thursday, Dec. 1 saying the way they handle the practice, known as “zero rating,” can hurt competition and consumers. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) (The Associated Press)

U.S. regulators are calling out AT&T and Verizon for exempting their own video apps from data caps on customers' cellphones.

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The Federal Communications Commission sent letters to the country's biggest wireless carriers Thursday saying the way they handle the practice, known as "zero rating," can hurt competition and consumers. The agency had warned AT&T in November and said Friday that AT&T's response did not ease its concerns.

Other services — say Hulu or Netflix — can pay Verizon and AT&T so that consumers could also use those apps without eating up cellphone data. The FCC says that could harm the market for streaming services as it makes it more expensive for internet companies to compete with video services that are owned by the carriers.