EA slashes 80% off iOS games for back-to-school sale

By on August 5, 2011 at 9:03 PM.

EA slashes 80% off iOS games for back-to-school sale

Electronic Arts has cut the prices of several of its top iOS games by as much as 80% as part of its back-to-school sale. The following iPhone games are now just $0.99: Tetris, Scrabble, FIFA 11, Fight Night Champion, Transformers Dark of the Moon, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Risk, Madden NFL and NCAA Football. EA’s iPad games are mostly priced between $0.99 and $2.99, and the following titles are included in the sale: Battleship, Monopoly, The Game of Life, NBA Jam, Flight Control, Risk, Max and the Magic Marker, Yahtzee Adventures, Sim City Deluxe, Pictureka, Tetris, Transformers Dark of the Moon, Monopoly: Here and Now, Reckless Racing, Scrabble and Snood. More →

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European Commission now investigating nine formal antitrust complaints against Google

By on August 2, 2011 at 7:15 PM.

European Commission now investigating nine formal antitrust complaints against Google

The European Commission now has a total of nine formal antitrust complaints targeting Google, Reuters reported on Tuesday. “The new complaints come from small companies,” one source told the news outlet, and another said two of the complaints were new while three came from national regulators. Until Tuesday, the EC had only confirmed that there were four total complaints. Microsoft has also filed a formal complaint with the European Commission and its general counsel, Brad Smith, said that the search giant “has engaged in a broadening pattern of walling off access to content and data that competitors need to provide search results to consumers and to attract advertisers.” Microsoft has argued that Google has a 95% grip of the European search market. The European Commission is also investigating Google for anticompetitive advertising practices and, in June, the Federal Trade Commission in the United States announced that it will investigate Google’s business practices. The search giant has said in the past that it will be fully compliant with the investigation. More →

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Google chairman Eric Schmidt to testify during Senate antitrust hearing

By on July 11, 2011 at 4:01 PM.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt to testify during Senate antitrust hearing

Google’s chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, Reuters reported on Monday. On June 24th, Google announced that the Federal Trade Commission would be reviewing its business practices. The search giant said it was “still unclear” as to what the FTC’s concerns were but that it would cooperate fully with the investigation. Watchdog groups such as Fairsearch.org have repeatedly accused Google of eangaging in anti-competitive behavior. “I look forward to discussing a number of important issues relating to Google and Internet search competition,” Senator Mike Lee, the lead Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s anti-trust subcommittee said. More →

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Google addresses FTC investigation into its business practices

By on June 24, 2011 at 2:53 PM.

Google addresses FTC investigation into its business practices

Google officially announced on Friday that it received word on Thursday that the Federal Trade Commission will begin reviewing its business. Google said that “it’s still unclear what the FTC’s concerns are,” but early reports have suggested the complaints involve the Internet giant’s search and online advertising businesses. Google said that it will continue to follow its five pillars: “do what’s best for the user,” “provide the most relevant answers as quickly as possible,” “label advertisements clearly,” “be transparent,” and “loyalty, not lock-in.” “These are the principles that guide us, and we know they’ll stand up to scrutiny. We’re committed to giving you choices, ensuring that businesses can grow and create jobs, and, ultimately, fostering an Internet that benefits us all,” Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow, wrote on the company blog Friday. There are, however, some groups that are concerned Google is becoming a monopoly. Read on for more background. More →

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FTC may subpoena Google in anti-trust investigation

By on June 24, 2011 at 11:10 AM.

FTC may subpoena Google in anti-trust investigation

The Federal Communications Commission may subpoena Google during the next five days as part of an anti-trust investigation related to the company’s search and web advertising practices. According to The Wall Street Journal, it is only illegal to purchase or abuse a monopoly, and so a subpoena and an investigation aren’t particularly damning to Google. Reportedly, investigators will examine if the search giant has purposely pushed users towards using its own services, as opposed to those offered by its rivals, using its own online advertising and search network. “Google engages in anticompetitive behavior…that harms consumers by restricting the ability of other companies to compete to put the best products and services in front of Internet users, who should be allowed to pick winners and losers online, not Google,” Fairsearch.org said. The watchdog group is representing a number of Google competitors Expedia, Kayak, Sabre Holdings, and Microsoft. Google faced a similar threat from the Justice Department in April when it proposed buying ITA software, but it settled by allowing the government body to examine some of its practices. The WSJ said a subpoena and an investigation could take a year to wrap-up, and it’s entirely possible nothing will change. More →

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California public utilities commission investigating AT&T’s T-Mobile acquisition

By on May 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

California public utilities commission investigating AT&T’s T-Mobile acquisition

The Public Utilities Commission in California will investigate AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The Golden state is one of three states that Sprint has asked to investigate the deal — the other two are West Virginia and Louisiana. “We believe a thorough investigation will reveal the negative implications for pricing, choice, and innovation critical to California’s economy,” Sprint’s public affairs manager, John Taylor, said. “Sprint is pleased that the commission will open up a proceeding to investigate the proposed takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T.” AT&T originally filed its informal notice with California’s Public Utilities Commission on May 3rd, and Sprint protested the filing on May 19th when it asked for a review of the merger. The regulators will consider three options, one of which is a choice to notify AT&T that its purchase is not “pre-approved” after the standard 30-day time period after an application is submitted. Sprint has opposed the acquisition from day one, and its CEO Dan Hesse said the deal would “stifle innovation” in the U.S. wireless market. More →

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Court orders Steve Jobs to answer questions in iTunes antitrust case

By on March 22, 2011 at 11:59 AM.

Court orders Steve Jobs to answer questions in iTunes antitrust case

A federal judge has ordered Apple CEO Steve Jobs to court where he will have to answer questions pertaining to an antitrust case. Filed in 2005, the antitrust suit alleges that Apple’s iTunes service had a monopoly on the digital music downloading market. According to a Bloomberg report, the deposition of Jobs will be no longer than two hours and questions must relate only to changes Apple made to its software in 2004 that prevented RealNetworks’ music files from being played on Apple’s iPod line of devices. “The court finds that Jobs has unique, non-repetitive, firsthand knowledge about the issues at the center of the dispute over RealNetworks software,” the judge wrote in the order. Steve Jobs is currently on medical leave from Apple for an undisclosed period of time. Unlike his last leave of absence in 2009, however, Jobs is still acting as CEO during his leave and is involved with major strategic decisions. More →

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Verizon Wireless CEO says company has no interest in buying Sprint

By on March 22, 2011 at 9:41 AM.

Verizon Wireless CEO says company has no interest in buying Sprint

Verizon Wireless CEO Daniel Mead said on Monday that the company has no interest in a merger with Sprint, a notion that had been tossed around by analysts over the weekend following news that AT&T intends to Acquire T-Mobile USA. “We’re not interested in Sprint. We don’t need them,” Mead told Reuters reporters in Florida ahead of this year’s CTIA Wireless conference. Should AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA from European telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom receive regulatory approval, AT&T would become the nation’s top wireless carrier by subscriber count. Verizon Wireless currently holds the No. 1 position, which it took from AT&T back in January 2009 when the carrier completed its acquisition of top regional carrier Alltel. AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile USA stands to create a much more substantial lead where subscriber count is concerned, however, making AT&T home to over 130 million wireless subscribers compared to Verizon Wireless’ 102 million. More →

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Sprint voices concern over proposed AT&T, T-Mobile merger

By on March 21, 2011 at 7:35 AM.

Sprint voices concern over proposed AT&T, T-Mobile merger

The nation’s third largest wireless provider, Sprint Nextel, has issued a statement to voice its concerns over the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger. “The combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA, if approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC), would alter dramatically the structure of the communications industry,” writes Sprint. “AT&T and Verizon are already by far the largest wireless providers. A combined AT&T and T-Mobile would be almost three times the size of Sprint, the third largest wireless competitor.” The company went on to say that the merged GSM carriers, along with Verizon Wireless, would control nearly 80% of the postpaid wireless market in the United States. AT&T’s CEO, Ralph de la Vega, has said that the deal should be approved by both government bodies based on historical precedence. “I think if the criteria that has been used in the past is used against this merger, I think the appropriate authorities will find there will still be plenty of competition left,” said de la Vega in a statement to Mobilized. Should the merger fall through, AT&T could owe Deutsche Telekom as much as $3 billion. More →

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EU to investigate Google for anticompetitive advertising practices

By on November 30, 2010 at 7:11 AM.

EU to investigate Google for anticompetitive advertising practices

Bloomberg is reporting that European Union antitrust regulators are preparing to launch an investigation aimed at concluding whether or not search giant Google “imposes exclusivity obligations on advertising partners.” Several companies, including Microsoft, are claiming that Google is preventing said partner-sites from placing ads for “competing services” on their websites. Foundem, a U.K. based price-comparison site, said Google was “stifling innovation” and that the company “should not be allowed to discriminate in favor of its own services.” In a written statement, Google explained: “There’s always going to be room for improvement and so we’ll be working with the commission to address any concerns.” The European Commission can levy fines of up to 10% of a company’s revenue for monopolistic practices. More →

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Time Warner Cable Piloting Disgustingly Low Bandwidth Caps

By on June 4, 2008 at 10:01 AM.

Time Warner Cable Piloting Disgustingly Low Bandwidth Caps

As we delve further into an age where more and more content is obtained and consumed digitally, Time Warner Cable seems to be doing everything it can to stifle progress. Residents of Beaumont, Texas are in for a treat later this week when Time Warner goes live with a new pilot for its cable internet customers. Under this pilot, cable internet customers will be limited to a measly 40 GB of traffic each month. The cost of service in Beaumont will still be $54.90 during this trial period, which by the way amounts to an astonishing $1.37 per gigabyte. The assumption of course is that internet subscribers who also choose VoIP or VOD services will see the 40 GB limitation lifted while the rest are left without an option to even pay an additional fee for more bandwidth. Heavy users such as those who embrace set top box offerings like Apple TV and Vudu are essentially given three choices in this scenario; Buy additional Time Warner services, stop using the internet as you have become accustomed or stop embracing these advancements in internet technology altogether. Do you currently consume all of your media via digital downloads? Buy a DVD. Do you enjoy the convenience and simplicity of online backup services such as Carbonite and Mozy? Buy an external hard drive. Time Warner Cable can’t single handedly reverse the exponential technology curve that the internet has bolstered, but it sure looks like they’re going to try.

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