September 24, 2019 / 4:09 PM / 23 days ago

REFILE-FCC probes Sprint for subsidies for 885,000 subscribers that did not receive service

(Corrects spelling error in headline)

WASHINGTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday Sprint Corp received tens of millions of dollars in monthly government subsidies for 885,000 low-income subscribers that were not using the service and said its Enforcement Bureau is investigating.

The FCC has been working to crack down on abuse of the "Lifeline program" that gives low-income consumers a $9.25 monthly subsidy for phone or broadband services. The 885,000 subscribers represent nearly 30% of Sprint’s Lifeline subscriber base. Democratic FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said Tuesday the disclosure should convince the agency to pause its review of the $26.5 billion tie-up of Sprint and T-Mobile US Inc "until we figure this out." Sprint did not immediately comment. (Reporting by David Shepardson)

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