AT&T said on Wednesday that it promises to bring 5,000 of its outsourced call center jobs back to the United States if its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA is approved by the FCC. AT&T also promised that it will not layoff any AT&T or T-Mobile call center employee who is employed at the time of the merger. In addition, AT&T will invest $8 billion in its U.S. infrastructure and the Economic Policy Institute has suggested that move could provide up to 96,000 new jobs. AT&T made its announcement hours before the United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the merger. “AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the Justice Department said. AT&T responded and said that “there was no indication” from the DOJ that a lawsuit was being contemplated. “We remain confident that this merger is in the best interest of consumers and our country, and the facts will prevail in court,” AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel Wayne Watts said, noting that AT&T will continue to fight for the merger’s approval. Read on for the full press release from AT&T. More →
Five environmental organizations in China have issued a report accusing Apple of contributing to the country’s pollution by providing business to suppliers that have “public records of environmental violations,” the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. The environmentalists attempted to contact 29 different tech companies in an effort to coerce the firms into cleaning up their supply chains but said Apple was unresponsive. Apple is reportedly taking “advantage of the loopholes in developing countries’ environmental management systems” to create its products. Factories for Kaedar Electronics and Unimicron Electronics are being blamed for increased cancer rates and pollution in the Chinese city of Kunshan. In addition, increased air pollution has forced parents to send their children to schools outside the city. Read on for more. More →
A purported marketing image of an upcoming Nokia Windows Phone has been published by WMPoweruser, and it could confirm several specs surrounding one of Nokia’s first Windows Phone devices. Dubbed the Nokia 703, the specs provided on the image above, if accurate, suggest that we’re looking at a mid-range handset. Some speculate that the device may be Nokia’s “Sea Ray,” though it was believed that the Sea Ray would share the same 3.9-inch AMOLED display as the Nokia N9. Nokia 703 spec highlights apparently include a 3.7-inch 480 x 800-pixel LCD display, a 5-megapixel camera with support for 720p HD video capture, 8GB of storage, 512MB of RAM and dimensions coming in at 112 x 60.8 x 12.3-millimeters. Though the text on the sheet is extremely blurry, it also looks like Nokia intends to launch the device on November 27th, but we’ll likely learn more at Nokia World in October. More →
Openwave Systems has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Apple and Research In Motion with a Delaware federal court and the U.S. International Trade Commission. Openwave believes products from both firms infringe on five patents related to how “mobile devices connect to the internet,” Bloomberg reports. The iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry Curve were all named in the suit. Openwave said it filed the lawsuits after it did not “receive a substantive response” when it offered both firms the option to license its technology. It hopes the threat of having the ITC block imports of the products “will lead the companies to negotiate licensing agreements.” “Openwave invented technologies that became foundational to the mobile Internet,” Openwave CEO Ken Denman said. “We believe that these large companies should pay us for the use of our technologies, particularly in light of the substantial revenue these companies have earned from devices that use our intellectual property.” More →
Apple has just seeded iOS 5 beta 7 to developers for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch testing. Apple is expected to release iOS 5 for consumers in the coming weeks. The full change log is after the break. More →
Facebook will launch a music service on September 22nd, CNBC reported today. There are currently no details on whether it will be a streaming subscription service or simply a music storefront similar to iTunes, and Facebook has not yet confirmed the announcement. Business Insider said the Facebook music service will integrate with other third party services such as Spotify and Rdio. CNBC also suggested Facebook will work with MOG, another music service that has a long-standing relationship with Facebook. Spotify and Rdio currently allow users to integrate with social networks to share songs and playlists with friends. More →
Apple employees must love a good drink. An Apple employee has, yet again, lost an unreleased iPhone prototype in a bar, according to CNET. The iPhone was lost in Cava22, a bar in San Francisco’s Mission District, late last month and Apple quickly tried to recover the lost device. The Cupertino-based company tracked the phone to a house in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights where investigators spoke to “a man in his twenties” who had been at Cava22 the day the iPhone was lost. The man denied knowing about the phone, despite a cash and “no questions asked” offer from Apple, and nothing was found when the man gave police permission to search his home. The phone was reportedly later sold on Craigslist for $200 to an unknown buyer according to CNET’s source, though it is unclear how the source gained knowledge of the sale. Last year, Gizmodo purchased a lost iPhone 4 prototype and published photos of the handset before it was unveiled. Apple is expected to announce its next-generation iPhone in October. More →
A security expert at Italian security firm AIR Sicurezza Informatica claims to have found a security flaw in Google’s new social network that allows hackers to potentially use Google+ servers to execute DDoS attacks. Simone Quatrini explained the flaw on the IHTeam Security Blog, and he wrote a script that can perform the attack, repeatedly prompting Google’s server to send requests to the target site. DDoS attacks, or distributed denial-of-service attacks, flood a web server with requests in an effort to prevent it from functioning. Such attacks require appropriate resources and bandwidth to execute, and Google servers would obviously have more than enough of these resources to launch a significant attack. More →
Earlier reports of a redesigned iPhone 5 with a larger display and an elongated home button gained momentum on Wednesday when a new iPhone icon was discovered by 9to5 Mac. The icon was found within official Apple software — the latest Photo Stream beta for developers — and it clearly shows a phone that deviates sharply from the current iPhone 4. The display appears to encompass more of the phones face and the home button is most certainly not round, as it has been on each of the previous four iPhone models. This is just an icon we’re looking at, of course, but it could be a safe bet that Apple’s forthcoming fifth-generation iPhone will resemble the design seen above. A closeup of the iPhone 5 icon follows below. More →
Though late to the finish line, it looks like Sprint is finally ready to follow AT&T and Verizon Wireless’ lead and bump its contract termination fee to $350 for “advanced devices.” Sprint confirmed on Wednesday that it will soon increase its early termination fee (ETF) from $200 to $350 beginning in early September. The 75% increase will impact subscribers who purchase subsidized smartphones, tablets, netbooks and notebooks, and the ETF will continue to be prorated as it is currently. The change is set to go into effect on September 9th according to a company spokesperson, and the timing is anything but curious. Sprint is expected to finally begin selling Apple smartphones when the iPhone 5 launches in October, and this big ETF bump is likely an effort to prevent consumers from buying and flying. EBay would likely crumble under the weight of all the new auctions if people were able to purchase the iPhone 5 for as little as $399 with no contract to worry about. More →
Sprint’s senior vice president of government affairs Vonya B. McCann issued the following statement in response to the Department of Justice’s attempt to block AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA:
The DOJ today delivered a decisive victory for consumers, competition and our country. By filing suit to block AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile, the DOJ has put consumers’ interests first. Sprint applauds the DOJ for conducting a careful and thorough review and for reaching a just decision – one which will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of a competitive U.S. wireless industry. Contrary to AT&T’s assertions, today’s action will preserve American jobs, strengthen the American economy, and encourage innovation.
AT&T responded to the DOJ earlier on Wednesday noting it will ask for an expedited hearing, and said “the facts will prevail in court.” FCC Chairman Julius also said the FCC has ‘serious concerns‘ about the impact of the merger.
In response to the U.S. government’s lawsuit against AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile, Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski issued the following statement on behalf of the FCC :
By filing suit today, the Department of Justice has concluded that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile would substantially lessen competition in violation of the antitrust laws. Competition is an essential component of the FCC’s statutory public interest analysis, and although our process is not complete, the record before this agency also raises serious concerns about the impact of the proposed transaction on competition. Vibrant competition in wireless services is vital to innovation, investment, economic growth and job creation, and to drive our global leadership in mobile. Competition fosters consumer benefits, including more choices, better service and lower prices.
AT&T responded to the DoJ lawsuit earlier and said that it plans to ask for an expedited hearing and is confident that the merger is “in the best interest of the consumers and our country.”
AT&T has issued a formal response to the U.S. government’s lawsuit seeking to blocking the carrier’s $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. “We are surprised and disappointed by today’s action, particularly since we have met repeatedly with the Department of Justice and there was no indication from the DOJ that this action was being contemplated,” said AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel Wayne Watts in a statement delivered to BGR via email. “We plan to ask for an expedited hearing so the enormous benefits of this merger can be fully reviewed. The DOJ has the burden of proving alleged anti-competitive affects and we intend to vigorously contest this matter in court.” Watts continued, “We remain confident that this merger is in the best interest of consumers and our country, and the facts will prevail in court.” AT&T’s full statement follows below.