WASHINGTON—Verizon Wireless agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle a Federal Communications Commission complaint that it inappropriately pressured Google Inc. GOOG +0.11% into blocking access to some applications on Google's Android mobile store.
On Tuesday, the FCC said it has reached a consent decree with Verizon VZ +0.44% Wireless to settle a 2011 investigation into whether Verizon violated federal rules by trying to block access to some applications on its LTE high-speed wireless network. Those applications would allow customers to "tether"—or use a mobile phone to provide Internet access to a tablet or other personal computer—without paying an extra fee.
Verizon is required to allow subscribers to use any apps or devices of their choice on its LTE network under unique rules the company agreed to when it acquired the airwaves from the FCC several years ago.
Verizon didn't admit any fault under the terms of the consent decree. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. VZ +0.44% and Vodafone Group PLC.
Under the terms of the deal, Verizon will also no longer be able to ask Google or other app stores to block access to tethering applications.
Verizon will also no longer charge customers on its tiered pricing plan an extra fee for using tethering services. Verizon eliminated that fee in late June when it announced new pricing plans. The extra fee will still apply to Verizon customers who are on an unlimited data plan.
In a statement, Verizon said it hasn't blocked its customers from using "third-party tethering applications." It said the settlement "allows us to focus on serving our customers."