Nokia again rumored to sell smartphone business to Microsoft

By on December 14, 2011 at 9:10 AM.

Nokia again rumored to sell smartphone business to Microsoft

Rumors again surfaced on Wednesday suggesting that Nokia plans to sell its smartphone business to Microsoft. Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest bank, issued a report to clients Wednesday morning that said Nokia will sell its smartphone division to Microsoft during the first half of 2012. Danske raised its rating on Nokia stock to Buy from Hold, and shares rose more than 3% on the news. Similar rumors first surfaced in May when an industry insider said Nokia and Microsoft were about to enter negotiations for a deal that could close before the end of 2011. Nokia immediately denied the rumor, though subsequent reports indicated that the two companies had in fact entered into discussions. “We put these rumors to rest a long time ago,” a Nokia spokesperson said in response to Danske Bank’s new report.

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Sprint and C Spire postpone AT&T merger lawsuits

By on December 13, 2011 at 10:00 PM.

Sprint and C Spire postpone AT&T merger lawsuits

Sprint and C Spire Wireless have decided to postpone lawsuits levied against AT&T. The two carriers had originally filed the suits in hopes of blocking AT&T’s planned  $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. AT&T recently pulled its merger application from the FCC however, and was granted a stay until January 18th for its lawsuit against the Department of Justice. Sprint originally sued to block the merger in September when it argued the deal would “harm retail consumers and corporate customers by causing higher prices and less innovation.” More →

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Judge approves AT&T/DOJ request for antitrust suit delay

By on December 13, 2011 at 2:40 PM.

Judge approves AT&T/DOJ request for antitrust suit delay

Judge Ellen Huvelle approved a joint request by AT&T and the Department of Justice to delay a lawsuit regarding AT&T’s planned purchase of T-Mobile USA. AT&T requested a stay in the suit on Monday and said it was working with Deutsche Telekom to prepare the best defense possible. “We are actively considering whether and how to revise our current transaction to achieve the necessary regulatory approvals so that we can deliver the capacity enhancements and improved customer service that can only be derived from combining our two companies’ wireless assets,” AT&T said in a statement on Monday. The Department of Justice has also sought a delay, or an entire dismissal of the suit, since it believes a ruling is unnecessary now that AT&T has withdrawn its FCC application to purchase T-Mobile USA. “It’s not a real transaction until they file with the FCC,” Justice Department lead attorney Joseph Wayland said recently. The pretrial proceedings for the Department of Justice’s suit against the merger will begin on January 18th, 2012. More →

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Apple may buy Israeli flash memory firm Anobit for $400-$500 million

By on December 13, 2011 at 8:10 AM.

Apple may buy Israeli flash memory firm Anobit for $400-$500 million

Apple may be preparing to purchase Anobit, an fabless Israeli firm that specializes in flash storage solutions for mobile and enterprise markets. The Cupertino-based company could be willing to spend between $400 million and $500 million on Anobit, Calcalist reported Tuesday. Anobit’s website says its memory signal processing (MSP) technology “significantly improves endurance, performance and cost of flash storage products and systems.” Apple is reportedly already an Anobit customer for its MacBook Air, iPhone and iPad product families. Anobit was founded in 2006, holds 95 total patents and currently employs about 200 people. More →

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Dish Network interested in T-Mobile partnership if AT&T merger fails

By on December 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM.

Dish Network interested in T-Mobile partnership if AT&T merger fails

Dish Network is interested in partnering with T-Mobile USA should AT&T’s planned acquisition of the carrier fail to gain regulatory approval. Dish Network chief executive officer Joseph Clayton revealed the news during an interview with Bloomberg on Monday. Clayton believes Dish could combine its spectrum with T-Mobile’s existing network, giving it enough muscle to compete with Verizon Wireless and AT&T. “We’re not interested in making money on selling our spectrum,” Clayton told Bloomberg. “We want to use it to create a national wireless network, video, voice and data. We’ve got expertise in satellite-TV, and we will in satellite broadband. The voice part, we’ll need some help with.” Dish is among several companies that have expressed interest in purchasing assets from AT&T or T-Mobile, should the companies decide to divest assets in an effort to gain approval from U.S. regulators. More →

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AT&T CEO says blocking T-Mobile merger will increase wireless prices

By on December 9, 2011 at 4:55 PM.

AT&T CEO says blocking T-Mobile merger will increase wireless prices

AT&T chief executive officer Randall Stephenson recently said in a Captains of Industry interview with Bloomberg that blocking his company’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA will increase wireless prices for consumers. Stephenson explained that AT&T needs T-Mobile in order to expand its already strained network capacity, and that Congress doesn’t understand wireless policy. “Regulators can’t keep up with the changes in the industry,” Stephenson said. AT&T recently withdrew its application from the FCC to acquire T-Mobile USA and said that it will first focus on a lawsuit brought against the merger by the Department of Justice. Should AT&T win the lawsuit, which is expected to begin in February, the carrier will then likely refile its application to purchase T-Mobile with the FCC. More →

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MetroPCS CFO says AT&T’s planned T-Mobile buy is likely to fail

By on December 6, 2011 at 8:00 PM.

MetroPCS CFO says AT&T’s planned T-Mobile buy is likely to fail

MetroPCS chief financial officer J. Braxton Carter recently said AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA is likely to fail. Carter’s comments were made during a UBS investor conference in New York City on Tuesday, during which he said the proposed merger is “almost kind of moot at this point given the intense opposition by the government.” MetroPCS was named as one of several U.S. wireless carriers originally interested in purchasing spectrum from AT&T and T-Mobile. AT&T recently pulled its merger application from the FCC to focus on a lawsuit that was levied against the proposed merger by the United States Justice Department. Hours after AT&T withdrew its application, the FCC released a 109-page report suggesting AT&T was not going to win the FCC’s blessing anyway. AT&T’s lawsuit with the DOJ is expected to go to trial in February of next year. More →

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Facebook acquires Gowalla, service to begin ‘winding down’ in January

By on December 5, 2011 at 6:50 PM.

Facebook acquires Gowalla, service to begin ‘winding down’ in January

Gowalla on Monday confirmed it was recently acquired by Facebook. “About two months ago, my co-founder Scott and I attended F8,” Gowalla co-founder and CEO Josh Williams wrote on the company blog Monday. “We were blown away by Facebook’s new developments. A few weeks later Facebook called, and it became clear that the way for our team to have the biggest impact was to work together. So we’re excited to announce that we’ll be making the journey to California to join Facebook.” Gowalla will begin to “wind down” its services in January but will allow users to export their passport and pin data, stamp collections and photos. Williams said Facebook is not acquiring Gowalla’s user data. Neither Facebook nor Gowalla discussed the terms of the acquisition. More →

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AT&T issues scathing response to FCC report [updated]

By on December 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM.

AT&T issues scathing response to FCC report [updated]

AT&T has issued a scathing letter in response to the FCC’s decision to release a staff report on its findings surrounding AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. “We expected that the AT&T-T-Mobile transaction would receive careful, considered, and fair analysis,” Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs, said. “Unfortunately, the preliminary FCC Staff Analysis offers none of that. The document is so obviously one-sided that any fair-minded person reading it is left with the clear impression that it is an advocacy piece, and not a considered analysis… The report cherry-picks facts to support its views, and ignores facts that don’t. Where facts were lacking, the report speculates, with no basis, and then treats its own speculations as if they were fact.” Read on for more.

Updated with statement from Sprint More →

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FCC bashes AT&T/T-Mobile merger in public report

By on November 30, 2011 at 8:30 AM.

FCC bashes AT&T/T-Mobile merger in public report

The Federal Communications Commission released a 109-page report on Tuesday evening that provides a great deal of insight into what the government agency thought of AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. However, AT&T has questioned exactly why the government agency decided to release the report since, hours before the report was released, AT&T successfully withdrew its merger application. The FCC said that the acquisition would give AT&T a “unilateral incentive” to increase its prices, which could have had an echo effect on the industry should Sprint and Verizon Wireless follow suit, The Wall Street Journal reported. Read on for more. More →

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Public policy groups accuse AT&T of merger ‘gamesmanship,’ call for release of FCC docs

By on November 29, 2011 at 7:25 PM.

Public policy groups accuse AT&T of merger ‘gamesmanship,’ call for release of FCC docs

Putting it simply, AT&T’s planned purchase of T-Mobile USA is beginning to sound like a game of chess (with a sprinkle of politics, of course). Public Knowledge and Media Access Project requested Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission release documents related to AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The two public policy groups argue that “the public deserves for the Commission’s determinations to see the light of day.” AT&T recently withdrew its acquisition application from the FCC to focus on a lawsuit brought against the merger by the Department of Justice. The organizations believe AT&T pulled its application so that it can “seek a favorable decision” in federal court and then use that ruling to win the FCC’s approval. Read on for more. More →

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AT&T granted approval to withdraw T-Mobile merger application from FCC

By on November 29, 2011 at 5:15 PM.

AT&T granted approval to withdraw T-Mobile merger application from FCC

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday granted AT&T permission to withdraw its application to purchase T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. Two public policy groups, Public Knowledge and Media Access Project asked the FCC to publish its documents relating to the deal and to prevent AT&T from rescinding its application, although it appears it’s too late for that to happen. AT&T announced its intention to withdraw its application to purchase T-Mobile USA on November 24th when it explained that it was going to instead focus on a lawsuit brought against it by the Department of Justice. That case is expected to kick off in February. Should AT&T win, it is likely the wireless carrier will re-file its application with the FCC and begin its acquisition process all over again. Public Knowledge and Media Access Project have argued that AT&T will have unfairly exhausted the resources of its competitors by the time it re-files for the merger.

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AT&T may divest 40% of T-Mobile USA assets in last bid to win merger approval

By on November 28, 2011 at 11:45 PM.

AT&T may divest 40% of T-Mobile USA assets in last bid to win merger approval

AT&T may propose to divest as much as 40% of T-Mobile USA’s assets in an effort to win approval from the Department of Justice in an upcoming lawsuit against the government agency. The DOJ sued to block the merger on August 31st, when it said “AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low-priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market.” AT&T is planning to divest a lower percentage of spectrum and a higher share of T-Mobile USA’s customers, Bloomberg said Monday. The divestiture may not be enough to add balance to the market, however. “It’s unlikely that the DOJ would allow a big competitor like Verizon to purchase the assets,” Macquarie Securities analyst Kevin Smithen told Bloomberg, which means AT&T may need to rely on smaller regional carriers to pick up the customers and spectrum. More →

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