T-Mobile has been on a freebie blitz lately.
Last week, it announced it would give away goodies to its customers every Tuesday including pizza, shakes, and even stock in the company. The first promotion, though—free Domino’s (DPZ) pizza—backfired this week when customers overwhelmed the wireless company’s app and “slammed Domino’s stores,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere wrote on Twitter.
The company suspended the pizza offer and replaced it with free Lyft rides, Legere tweeted, telling customers, “You guys broke Domino’s.”
But T-Mobile (TMUS) is pushing ahead with another freebie initiative that may carry even more risk. The company, which bills itself as “the uncarrier,” last fall launched a program called “Binge On,” allowing certain customers to stream video from Netflix (NFLX), YouTube, and other providers on their phones without using up their data plan. Now, T-Mobile is working to add Facebook video to its list of included streaming options, Re/code reported.
Such a partnership would be controversial, as both T-Mobile and Facebook (FB) have recently been accused of violating net neutrality principles by offering certain web services free while charging for others. Facebook has also been criticized for its “Free Basics” service, a program it launched last year in developing markets to offer people with limited Internet connections free access to a bundle of websites with information on medical services, weather and more—as well as its own social network. India banned Free Basics earlier this year, citing net neutrality rules.
After a court this week upheld Federal Communication Commission rules mandating net neutrality, T-Mobile’s Binge On program and others like it could run into legal trouble over such policies, Fortune’s Jeff John Roberts writes.
While Facebook generally benefits from net neutrality, the ruling could create even bigger obstacles for bringing Free Basics or a similar service to the U.S., which is a move that the tech company is currently considering, according to Re/code. In providing Free Basics, Facebook partners with local wireless carriers to get them to nix data fees for usage of the included websites. It is now talking to T-Mobile about trying something similar in this country, Re/code writes:
T-Mobile and Facebook are also exploring whether some version of the Free Basics approach makes sense in the U.S., according to a source. Back in March, a few T-Mobile users noticed a bizarre “Free data” message inside the Facebook app, but nothing ever came of it, at least not publicly.
T-Mobile did not respond to a request for comment.