ND Supreme Court upholds Internet provider probe

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North Dakota's Supreme Court says the attorney general may continue a probe into the marketing practices of an Internet service provider.

Simple.net Inc. of Mesa, Ariz., has tried to block investigations by North Dakota and other states. It contends the investigations are barred because of a settlement between the company and the Federal Trade Commission.

In a unanimous ruling, the North Dakota Supreme Court says the FTC agreement does not prevent the North Dakota attorney general from looking into Simple.net's business practices.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem got complaints about Simple.net because the company was sending out incentive checks.

When customers cashed the checks, they started getting billed almost $20 a month for Internet services. Stenehjem says the sales pitch was misleading.

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