Sprint has received subpoenas from Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington regarding its opposition of AT&T’s planned $39 billion T-Mobile USA acquisition, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division also issued a subpoena. Sprint has been a staunch opponent of the deal and its CEO Dan Hesse has said the acquisition will “stifle innovation” in the U.S. wireless market. He also said that “clearly, purely, [Sprint wants] to win and block the merger,” when it was revealed that Hesse was working with 18 state regulators to block the acquisition. The deal is getting an in-depth investigation from both the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. On June 22nd, AT&T’s General Counsel Wayne Watts said that the acquisition was on schedule for approval in March of next year. An AT&T spokesperson told Reuters that AT&T also received the same nine subpoenas. More →
Speaking to reporters recently, AT&T’s General Counsel Wayne Watts said that AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile is still on schedule for approval in March of next year. “The number one question I get from investors is can we get [the deal] done,” Watt explained. “I think we can.” Sprint, one of the deal’s most outspoken opponents, has argued that AT&T does not need to purchase T-Mobile in order to increase its network capacity, and that the deal would “stifle innovation” in the U.S. wireless market. T-Mobile’s senior vice president of government affairs, Tom Sugure, responded to Sprint and other opponents on Tuesday, noting that each has “failed to offer any credible arguments to support their view that the Commission should deny the transaction.” More →
Charges have been filed by federal prosecutors in Seattle against a Microsoft employee accused of wire fraud. Robert D. Curry was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with stealing $515,000 from Microsoft using a series of wire transfers sent from Microsoft to Curry’s bank account. According to Curry, the transfers were payments for services rendered but prosecutors contend that Curry provided no such services. According to the charges, Curry created a shell company and used one of Microsoft’s vendors, which was unaware of Curry’s actions, to funnel money into his account between April and November last year. The FBI claims Curry collected a series of fraudulent payments from Microsoft, having misled the company by claiming the payments were being made to Microsoft vendor Pentad Solutions. Prosecutors say Curry used the stolen funds to pay for high-end audio equipment, credit card bills and a ski vacation. More →
Time Warner has been ordered by a U.S. District Court judge in Washington to identify hundreds of people accused of illegally downloading movies over its broadband network. The ISP had previously argued that identifying the accused parties would be “unfairly expensive and time-consuming,” and it asked that the judge reject the subpoenas for subscriber information. Of the three pending cases where subpoenas for subscriber data were issued, the judge agreed to quash one, as the plaintiff, Maverick Entertainment Group, failed to properly serve the subpoena in compliance with the law. The other two stand, however, and Time Warner will have to identify approximately 250 subscribers. Maverick, one of three movie companies currently seeking the identities of anonymous Internet users who are accused of illegally downloading their copyrighted materials, has 10 days to re-issue the subpoena or it may lose access to the identities of over 700 users. More →
WiMAX network operator Clearwire is the target of a new lawsuit that has been filed out of a Seattle district court. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs allege that Clearwire “throttles down the speed of its Internet service to speeds similar to dial-up telephone modem speeds,” and likens the company’s business practices to “a bandwidth Ponzi scheme.” Customers who are not satisfied with the speeds provided by Clearwire’s self-proclaimed high-speed internet are forced to pay early termination fees. “Clearwire made materially false, misleading, and/or deceptive representations and omissions about the speed and capacity of its Internet service,” reads the court filing. “Rather than limiting its subscribers to a number that its broadband infrastructure can accommodate — such that Clearwire can make good on its representations regarding high-speed service and capacity — Clearwire signed up many more subscribers than it could handle so as to maximize revenue and profit.” The embattled network operator now faces false advertising claims from fifteen plaintiffs seeking class action status. Clearwire has been in news headlines over the past several months as it tries to negotiate a usage agreement with WiMAX network partner Sprint.
Today at CTIA, Verizon Wireless announced that its next generation, LTE, 4G network will cover 38 major U.S. cities and 60 additional airports by the end of 2010. Some of the initial cities getting LTE include: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The official press release, with a full list of cities an airports, is after the break. More →
Clearwire announced on Thursday that it has begun rolling out its 4G WiMAX service to seven new cities in four states. The lucky seven include Eugene, OR., Merced, CA., Visalia, CA., Yakima, WA., Tri-Cities, WA., Rochester, NY., and Syracuse, NY. Folks in these locales who are already rocking an HTC EVO 4G or an Overdrive 3G/4G mobile hotspot can sit back and enjoy their newly acquired 4G speeds. Those of you still sporting last year’s 3G technology now have a reason to jump on board the WiMAX bandwagon. More →
Just in time for the launch of the EVO 4G, Sprint and Clearwire today announced the launch of their 4G WiMAX network in Washington, D.C. and Kansas City. The D.C. portion of network extends rather deeply to neighboring communities and is capable of reaching some 1 million people. The two carriers also announced the strengthening of their network in Baltimore which now covers roughly 725 square miles and is capable of delivering high speed wireless data to roughly 1.7 million people. Clearwire is offering a promotion in Washington, Kansas City, and Baltimore in which new subscribers to its Clear service will receive a $50 service credit and have access to plans as low as $15 per month for the first two months. More →