NEW YORK, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Cablevision Systems Corp on Thursday sued Verizon Communications Inc, accusing it of falsely advertising to consumers on television, radio and the Internet that its WiFi service is the fastest available.
The complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court in Central Islip, New York, accuses Verizon of basing its “fastest WiFi available” claim on new network routers it has been installing for up to $199.99, despite knowing that Cablevision offers the same routers for its Optimum network, free of charge.
Cablevision also called the advertising an effort to stymie its launch of a low-cost “Freewheel” phone that could cut into sales by Verizon and other cellular service providers.
“Verizon’s claim that it has faster WiFi than Cablevision is false, deceptive and designed to mislead consumers,” Bethpage, New York-based Cablevision said in a statement.
It seeks to force New York-based Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless company, to stop and correct its alleged false advertising, and to pay damages.
Verizon rejected Cablevision’s allegations.
“This is a boldface ploy to promote Cablevision’s latest wireless gambit,” Verizon said in a statement. “A third party has tested and validated the FiOS Quantum Gateway router. It offers the fastest in-home Wi-Fi available from any provider.”
In 2011, Cablevision had sued Verizon for allegedly misleading consumers in an advertising campaign about the speed of Cablevision’s Internet services. The companies later settled.
The case is Cablevision Systems Corp et al v. Verizon Communications Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 15-00456. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York and Malathi Nayak in San Francisco; Editing by Alan Crosby)