Verizon, AT&T reach $116 million California settlement

California

Shoppers pass an AT&T phone store on February 1, 2009 at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The nation’s largest cellphone providers will pay a combined $116 million in a California lawsuit alleging that they overcharged government customers over more than a decade.

Verizon will pay $68 million and AT&T Mobility will pay $48 million to settle claims that they violated cost-saving agreements with nearly 300 state and local governments.

Sprint and T-Mobile previously agreed to pay a combined $9.6 million. The California Attorney General’s Office decided not to sue, but a whistleblower used a state law that allows for such independent lawsuits.

The wireless companies denied wrongdoing and said they settled to avoid lengthy and costly litigation.

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