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T-Mobile, FTC butt heads over bogus fees: CNET Update

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CNET Update: T-Mobile, FTC butt heads over bogus fees

2:50 /

A new phone won't keep T-Mobile safe from the Federal Trade Commission. Meanwhile, Google looks to even the streaming music playing field with its purchase of online radio service Songza.

T-Mobile is in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission. I'm Dan Graziano filling in for Bridgette Carry, and this is your CNET update. [MUSIC] The FTC has filed a complaint against T-Mobile that claims the carrier placed hidden charges in phone bills for premium messaging services. The agency alleges that T-Mobile made hundreds of millions of dollars on fees relating to these charges. It claims that T-Mobile's billing practices made it difficult for customers to detect that anything was wrong because they didn't show that these charges were from a third party or part of a subscription. The agency has also said that the carrier has failed to issue full refunds to some customers. But T-Mobile CEO, John Ledger, has called the complaint unfounded and without merit. He said the carrier stopped billing for these charges last year and is already processing refunds. The FTC, however, wants to ensure that every customer gets their refund. In other T-Mobile news, the carrier will be offering the Nokia Lumia 635 smartphone to customers later this month. The handset features a 4.5-inch display, a 1.2-gigahertz quad-core processor, and a 5-megapixel rear camera. The Lumia 635 is the first smartphone in the US to run Windows Phone 8.1, which includes a lot of new features and improvements, including Microsoft's answer to Siri, the Cortana voice assistant. The device also runs on T-Mobile's LTE network, and is the carrier's variant of the global release, Lumia 630, which CNET editors rated it as good, giving it three out of five stars. The main selling point, though, is the price. The Lumia 635 will cost you only $168, and you won't even have to sign up for a two-year contract. Now, that's what I call a good deal. The Lumia 635 will be available online, from T-Mobile on July 9th, and in stores on July 16th, while MetroPCS will begin selling it on July 18th online and in stores. And finally, Songza, an online radio provider similar to Pandora, announced it is being acquired by Google. The service recommends various playlists based on the time of day, the weather, your mood, or an activity. Songza is Google's 20th acquisition this year, joining the ranks of companies like Nest and Dropcam. It's an interesting time for Google to buy a music-streaming company. Remember that Apple recently purchased Beats, and Amazon also launched its new Prime music service. Google has said there is no immediate plans to change Songza, although the company is exploring ways to integrate the service into Google Play music and possibly YouTube. That's your tech news update. You can get more details on these stories at cnet.com. From our studios in New York, I'm Dan Graziano. [MUSIC]

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