Google’s online video service, AT&t Internet, has been accused of slowing internet access for its customers, forcing many to downgrade their devices and paying a premium for the privilege.
The company is the subject of a class action lawsuit, filed by two users of a Google TV-like service who say they lost service after their devices became unresponsive.
The lawsuit, which has been going on for months, seeks to stop the throttling of the internet service, arguing that the service violates the federal Communications Act and the California Telecommunications Act, both of which prohibit internet service providers from throttling access to content or charging higher prices to internet service users.
The US Department of Justice has been investigating whether AT&ts throttling violates Section 706 of the Communications Act, a provision that bars internet service companies from blocking content or slowing down internet traffic.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, which owns the YouTube video service and other services, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the US, AT &ts Internet is available on the Google TV box, Roku and Android devices.
In India, the company is available only on smartphones and tablets.
AT&Ts internet speeds have been slower than Google’s in the past, but the company’s data cap is significantly lower than that of Google, according to a blog post on the company website.
In March, Google said it was throttling speeds on some of its video services to ensure that it didn’t exceed the company in terms of data usage.
A spokesman for the company told Bloomberg News that throttling is a common practice for any provider, including those with data caps, and that AT&TS throttling was in place to ensure its data service was not overloaded.
AT &t is currently one of the largest internet providers in India, with 2.7 million customers and an annual revenue of $3.2 billion, according with research firm Forrester Research.
Google has not responded to a requests for comment from Reuters.