FTC takes DirecTV to court, alleges deceptive advertising

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is taking the nation’s biggest satellite TV provider to court, accusing DirecTV of misleading millions of consumers about the cost of its programming.

The Federal Trade Commission has charged DirecTV Inc. with deceptively advertising a discounted 12-month programming package. Consumers weren’t clearly told that the package requires a two-year contract, the suit says.

The commission says the advertising also did not make clear that the cost of the package would increase by up to $45 more per month in the second year and that hefty cancellation fees would apply.

California-based DirecTV, which has more than 20 million subscribers, has been in trouble with the FTC before. It paid a $5.3 million settlement in 2005, and then a $2.3 million settlement in 2009 — both over telemarketing calls to consumers.