AT&T responds to FCC, says merger will ‘create thousands of jobs’

By on October 14, 2011 at 12:05 PM.

AT&T responds to FCC, says merger will ‘create thousands of jobs’

On Thursday the FCC wrote a letter to AT&T stating that the carrier failed to submit enough information detailing how it will create jobs in the United States, should its planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA be approved. AT&T responded to the letter said said it “is aware that the Commission has requested additional information about the job related effects of the transaction,” noting that it “intends to respond fully to that request.” The carrier highlighted the following information, which reiterates its promise to keep AT&T and T-Mobile jobs and bring 5,000 call center jobs back to the United States:

In the process, the merger will spur billions of dollars in additional investment, create thousands of jobs, and significantly narrow the digital divide while advancing the Administration’s rural broadband objectives – all of which will aid the nation’s economic recovery and future economic strength without the expenditure of public funds. On top of that, AT&T has made significant job commitments, including our commitment to make a job offer guarantee available to existing T-Mobile USA non-management employees, our commitment to retain the two companies’ U.S. call center employees, and our commitment to bring 5,000 call center jobs back to the U.S.

AT&T also said the merger will “unleash billions of dollars of investment in advanced mobile broadband technologies, provide LTE coverage to 55 million more Americans, and create thousands of jobs in one of the most challenging economic environments in modern history.”

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AT&T bites back at Sprint’s attempt to block merger

By on September 6, 2011 at 5:45 PM.

AT&T bites back at Sprint’s attempt to block merger

Sprint announced that it was suing AT&T in an effort to block its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA on Tuesday morning. Later in the day AT&T issued the following statement in response to the suit:

This simply demonstrates what we’ve said all along – Sprint is more interested in protecting itself than it is in promoting competition that benefits consumers. We of course will vigorously contest this matter in court as AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile USA will: help solve our nation’s spectrum exhaust situation and improve wireless service for millions; allow AT&T to expand 4G LTE mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97% of the population; and result in billions of additional investment and tens of thousands of jobs, at a time when our nation needs them most.

On August 31st, the Department of Justice filed a related lawsuit in an attempt to block the merger. On the same day, AT&T responded to the DOJ suit and said that its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA is in the best interest of consumers and “the facts will prevail in court.”

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T-Mobile responds to Sen. Al Franken’s recommendation against AT&T merger

By on July 27, 2011 at 9:01 AM.

T-Mobile responds to Sen. Al Franken’s recommendation against AT&T merger

Minnesota Senator Al Franken sent a letter to the heads of the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice earlier this week, stating that AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA was not in the best interest of the American public. “The competitive effects of a merger of this size and scope will reverberate throughout the telecommunications sector for decades to come and will affect consumer prices, customer service, innovation, competition in handsets and the quality and quantity of network coverage. These threats are too large and too irrevocable to be prevented or alleviated by conditions,” Franken wrote. The Minnesota democrat also said that the deal could cost thousands of Americans their jobs. T-Mobile issued a statement in response to Franken’s note late on Tuesday, stating plainly that Franken’s assessment of the deal is wrong. “While we respect Senator Franken, his analysis of our pending transaction is just wrong,” T-Mobile said in a note to the press. “The combination of T-Mobile and AT&T should be approved because it will deliver what consumers are looking for in the age of smart phones, tablets and mobile internet – speed, service quality and reduced costs. As is documented in our government filings, the combination of our two networks creates significant efficiencies that will trigger strong benefits for consumers. We are confident that a thorough review of the record will demonstrate the transaction advances the public interest.”

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‘Anonymous’ hackers to FBI: There is nothing you can do to stop us

By on July 21, 2011 at 1:03 PM.

‘Anonymous’ hackers to FBI: There is nothing you can do to stop us

Global hacker collective “Anonymous Operations” together with “Lulz Security” on Thursday issued a statement to the FBI and other international authorities. The release is a response to statements made by FBI Director Steve Chabinsky tied to the recent arrest of 14 individuals with suspected ties to the hacker group. “We want to send a message that chaos on the Internet is unacceptable, Chabinsky told NPR in a recent interview. “[Even if] hackers can be believed to have social causes, it’s entirely unacceptable to break into websites and commit unlawful acts.” Anonymous did not mince words in its response. “These governments and corporations are our enemy. And we will continue to fight them, with all methods we have at our disposal, and that certainly includes breaking into their websites and exposing their lies,” an unnamed Anonymous representative said in a statement. “We are not scared any more. Your threats to arrest us are meaningless tous as you cannot arrest an idea. Any attempt to do so will make your citizens more angry until they will roar in one gigantic choir. It is our mission to help these people and there is nothing – absolutely nothing – you can possibly to do make us stop.” Anonymous’ full statement follows below. More →

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AT&T responds to Senate Antitrust Subcomittee chairman’s recommendation to block merger

By on July 20, 2011 at 5:35 PM.

AT&T responds to Senate Antitrust Subcomittee chairman’s recommendation to block merger

Earlier on Wednesday, the Senate Subcommittee chairman Senator Herb Kohl urged federal regulators to block AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. On Wednesday afternoon, AT&T responded to Senator Kohl’s recommendation with the following statement:

We respect Senator Kohl. However, we feel his view is inconsistent with antitrust law, is shared by few others, and ignores the many positive benefits and numerous supporters of the transaction. This is a decision that will be made by the Department of Justice and the FCC under applicable law and after a full and fair examination of the facts. We continue to believe those reviews will result in approval of this transaction.

Despite opposition from Kohl and others, AT&T said that there are currently 26 governors, 76 democratic members of congress, 72 mayors, and unions that represent 20 million members that are in favor of the merger and argue that it will be good for consumers, provide jobs, and help the economy. In addition, Senator Mike Lee also made a statement today in support of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. “The mobile phone market is a critical component of our nation’s economy and the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile deserves careful review,” Lee said. “In my view, the merger has the potential to provide significant network efficiencies that may help alleviate capacity constraints, enable enhanced service quality, and facilitate expansion of a 4G LTE nationwide network, which would in turn create opportunities for handset innovation and continued development of data-rich applications.” Lee also said that he’s confident the FCC and Department of Justice will ensure that the U.S. wireless market remains competitive. More →

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RIM responds to open letter published by BGR

By on June 30, 2011 at 3:55 PM.

RIM responds to open letter published by BGR

RIM on Thursday released its response to an open letter published exclusively by BGR. The letter, which was written by a senior RIM executive, pleads with the company’s upper management to make some drastic changes if it is to regain the mind share and market share it has lost in recent years. After questioning the authenticity of the letter — and we assure you, it is indeed genuine and its author has been vetted — RIM said the company is “fully aware of and aggressively addressing both the company’s challenges and its opportunities.” The response goes on to take an extremely defensive stance, listing various reasons that RIM is still in a strong position. The company also says its management is taking its current challenges seriously during this transitional period. “The company is thankfully in a solid business and financial position to tackle the opportunities ahead with a solid balance sheet (nearly $3 billion in cash and no debt), strong profitability (RIM’s net income last quarter was $695 million) and substantial international growth (international revenue in Q1 grew 67% over the same quarter last year). In fact, while growth has slowed in the US, RIM still shipped 13.2 million BlackBerry smartphones last quarter (which is about 100 smartphones per minute, 24 hours per day) and RIM is more committed than ever to serving its loyal customers and partners around the world,” the response concludes. RIM’s statement can be read below in its entirety.

More →

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RIM responds to reports of poor PlayBook sales, high return rate at major retailer

By on May 20, 2011 at 3:50 PM.

RIM responds to reports of poor PlayBook sales, high return rate at major retailer

RIM just reached out to us with a statement regarding our post from this morning in which we reported that a big box retailer provided us with information surrounding BlackBerry PlayBook sales and returns. RIM’s response is as follows:

The source of the reported comment is anonymous and unknown to RIM, but the comment is certainly inconsistent with the positive feedback we have received from our main retail partners. As previously indicated, RIM will provide a business update on BlackBerry PlayBook results on June 16.

For reference, here is a public statement recently offered by Best Buy:

“Best Buy has had great success selling BlackBerry smartphones in North America, so our sales expectations for the BlackBerry PlayBook were very high. To date, we have far exceeded those expectations and we’re finding that customers are even more interested in purchasing once they’ve tested the PlayBook in the store.”

While we appreciate RIM’s comment and we have no doubt that PlayBook sales at Best Buy have exceeded expectations, we stand by our source and our story from earlier today.

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AT&T says West Virginians are pawns in Sprint’s ‘cynical’ efforts to block T-Mobile merger

By on May 5, 2011 at 1:15 PM.

AT&T says West Virginians are pawns in Sprint’s ‘cynical’ efforts to block T-Mobile merger

AT&T on Thursday issued a public response to Sprint’s recent attempt to thwart its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA by appealing to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, which oversees public utilities and telcos in the state. While AT&T is busy trying to bring its upcoming 4G service to West Virginians, the carrier contends, Sprint is simply impeding its plans without having any intentions of its own to build a 4G network in the state. “AT&T is trying to bring the latest and fastest mobile Internet service to most of the citizens of West Virginia. Since Sprint is trying to stop that, we hope state officials will ask Sprint what its own plans are for bringing LTE speeds to the people of West Virginia,” said AT&T’s President of the Mid-Atlantic Region, J. Michael Schweder, in a statement. “We suspect Sprint either has no such plan, or that its own plans pale in comparison to AT&T’s. In either case, we’re confident West Virginians will see Sprint’s filing for what it is — a cynical effort to hurt a competitor, even if the ones truly hurt are the many people of West Virginia who would be denied the fast mobile Internet speeds they need and want.” Sprint indicated earlier this week that its appeal in West Virginia was the first of several state-level filings it will make across the country. Hit the break for AT&T’s full response. More →

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Google: Android location tracking is opt-in

By on April 22, 2011 at 4:23 PM.

Google: Android location tracking is opt-in

Let all those questioning their open-source smartphone overlord be silent. Responding to the recent ruckus caused by an O’Reilly article and subsequent report by The Wall Street Journal, Google has let it be known that it is not tracking your location… unless you give it permission. In a statement to blog TechCrunch, Google writes:

All location sharing on Android is opt-in by the user. We provide users with notice and control over the collection, sharing and use of location in order to provide a better mobile experience on Android devices. Any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymized and is not tied or traceable to a specific user.

The Wall Street Journal called in to question the notion that data sent to Google was, in fact, anonymous. Google addressed this claim, stating that when users opt-in to the service data is often linked with a phone’s unique identifier . The unique identifier is not, however, then partnered with a phone number, serial number, name, or email address — making it difficult for Google to associate the location information with a specific user. Apple has yet to issue a statement about the utility of its gathered location data. More →

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AT&T responds to allegations of capped data speeds, confirms ATRIX 4G will get HSUPA

By on March 11, 2011 at 12:51 PM.

AT&T responds to allegations of capped data speeds, confirms ATRIX 4G will get HSUPA

AT&T on Thursday responded to a Better Business Bureau complaint alleging that the carrier is capping data speeds on new “4G” devices like the Motorola ATRIX 4G. The BBB grievance was part of a series of complaints, both public and private, pertaining to slower than expected upload speeds on devices like the ATRIX 4G and HTC’s Inspire 4G. AT&T responded to BGR’s request for comment earlier this week, but the carrier’s statement left some room for interpretation. Now, any vagueness has been eliminated, at least in the case of the ATRIX. “Be assured that AT&T has not ‘capped’ the upload speeds on the ATRIX,” an AT&T appeals manager stated in a letter to a customer. “The ATRIX is a HSUPA-capable device, and we currently are performing the testing and preparations necessary to ensure that, when we turn this feature on, you will continue to have a world class experience.” This confirmation that the ATRIX 4G will have HSUPA enabled in the future should help ease the tension among users who are currently experiencing slow upload speeds, though AT&T has not commented on why HSUPA was disabled to begin with. Hit the break for AT&T’s full response. More →

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Square CEO takes high-road, downplays VeriFone’s security claims

By on March 10, 2011 at 7:01 PM.

Square CEO takes high-road, downplays VeriFone’s security claims

Yesterday, we told you about VeriFone’s unprovoked, online vendetta waged against mobile-payments startup Square. VeriFone CEO, Douglas G. Bergeron, wrote and open letter to humanity and created a YouTube video declaring that consumers were in “dire risk” because of Square’s card reader. Although the accused company did not respond to requests for comment yesterday, Square’s CEO has published a letter of his own, downplaying VeriFone’s concerns, while taking the proverbial high-road.

“Any technology—an encrypted card reader, phone camera, or plain old pen and paper—can be used to ‘skim’ or copy numbers from a credit card,” writes Jack Dorsey, Square’s CEO. “The waiter you hand your credit card to at a restaurant, for example, could easily steal your card details if he wanted to—no technology required.”

The letter goes on to reassure Square users that the company is “constantly improving the payment experience to enhance security” and that it’s partner bank, JPMorgan Chase, “stands behind every aspect” of the company’s service. Hit the jump to read the full context of the rebuttal. More →

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RIM addresses Dell’s plan to ditch BlackBerry

By on November 5, 2010 at 9:00 PM.

RIM addresses Dell’s plan to ditch BlackBerry

In an interview published Friday, Dell CFO Brian Gladden stated that the company would be ditching its cache of approximately 25,000 BlackBerry handsets and replacing them with Dell smartphones. The news comes ahead of Dell’s Venue Pro launch, which is scheduled to take place later this month in the U.S. Following Gladden’s comments that Dell would likely save 25% on communication costs by dumping BlackBerry smartphones and servers, RIM has issued a response. “We find it highly unlikely that they will actually save any money with this move and far more likely they were looking for a little free publicity,” RIM’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing Mark Guibert told Dow Jones Newswires in an email. The company’s response is short and to the point, though it doesn’t really address the fact that BlackBerry devices often require more expensive data plans than other smartphones. Businesses that use BlackBerry handsets also incur additional costs associated with BlackBerry Enterprise Servers. More →

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Foursquare CEO responds to Facebook's launch of 'Places'

By on August 20, 2010 at 2:22 AM.

Foursquare CEO responds to Facebook's launch of 'Places'

Last night, Business Insider sent foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley an email shortly after social networking giant Facebook announced the launch of their geo-location service, Places. The short email reads: “So is Facebook the location platform now? And is Foursquare an app on that platform?” Crowley responded with a few details about how his company will interact with Places, and their plans for the future:

No, we’re still a platform for location, specifically around sharing locations though check-ins, surfacing interesting things around you and using game mechanics to encourage and reward for certain actions and/or behaviors.

Facebook also launched a location platform, which appears to be mostly based on checkins (and common FB elements like comments/likes/photos).

We already allow users to publish their 4SQ checkins into the Facebook News Feed and we’ll eventually going to allow users to push them into the Facebook Checkin Feed.   I’d imagine we’ll prob pull FB checkins into 4SQ too.   We’re in the middle of a redesign and some new feature launches, so we’re going to get thru those before getting started on FB integration.

It will certainly be interesting to see how the two companies push each other and differentiate themselves while adding value to and growing their user-bases. What are your thoughts on geo-location social networks like foursquare and Facebook’s Places? More →

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