AT&T quietly resolves lawsuit against T-Mobile's senior ad campaign

'The parties have reached a mutually agreeable resolution,' AT&T confirmed. However, T-Mobile's 'Banned Seniors' website still appears to be accessible following a legal challenge from AT&T.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies

May 2, 2023

2 Min Read
AT&T quietly resolves lawsuit against T-Mobile's senior ad campaign

AT&T is no longer pushing a lawsuit against T-Mobile over the operator's "Banned Seniors" advertising campaign.

The companies reached a settlement in the case this month, according to filings with the Eastern District Court in Texas. "The parties have reached a mutually agreeable resolution," AT&T confirmed in a statement. The operator didn't immediately respond to additional questions on the topic, including the terms of the settlement.

However, as of Tuesday, T-Mobile's "Banned Seniors" website still appeared to be accessible.

"92% of seniors in the US can't get a 55+ plan from Verizon or AT&T because they don't live in Florida. 92%!! The Un-carrier is here to help," according to T-Mobile's website.

Figure 1: T-Mobile's 'Banned Seniors' website is still available. (Source: Screenshot) T-Mobile's "Banned Seniors" website is still available.
(Source: Screenshot)

That was the claim at the heart of AT&T's legal attack against T-Mobile, launched late last year after T-Mobile unveiled the campaign in August. "T-Mobile's claims are outright dishonest and completely false. It is not the first time they have spread misleading information," AT&T said in a statement at the time, according to FierceWireless. "AT&T offers wireless discounts to people of all ages, including seniors in all 50 states. The only way to stop the un-truthful carrier is apparently in a court of law, and that's where we are."

At the time, AT&T said it would seek a jury trial to force T-Mobile to discontinue its advertising campaign and to give up any profits made from the campaign. However, according to filings in the case, AT&T failed to block T-Mobile's ads and the issue appeared headed to court-ordered mediation.

For its part, AT&T argued that it too offers discounted wireless service to seniors in all 50 states through its partnership with AARP. AT&T's $10 per month discount for seniors was still available on the AARP website as of Tuesday.

It's worth noting that the dispute is by no means the only advertising squabble among wireless providers. For example, Charter Communications and Comcast recently filed a complaint against speed claims in T-Mobile's latest fixed wireless Internet advertisements.

However, those complaints were filed with the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs, an independent advertising arbiter that typically presides over such marketing disagreements across a wide range of industries, including telecom.

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Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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