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Verizon Wireless in a statement Sunday said it will pay up to $90 million in refunds to 15 million cell phone customers who were erroneously charged for data sessions or Internet use.

Verizon said 15 million customers either will receive credits of $2 to $6 on their October or November bills, while former customers will get refund checks.

The charges affected customers who did not have data usage plans, but were billed because of exchanges initiated by software built into their phones.

In the past three years, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission received complaints from Verizon Wireless customers who said they were charged for data usage or Web access, the New York Times reported Sunday.

People close to the settlement talks said they expected the refunds to total more than $50 million, the Times said. These people also said the FCC is pressing Verizon to agree to a penalty for the unauthorized charges.

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