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Tag - Cellular South
Sprint and AT&T's dispute over the former company's proposed buyout of T-Mobile will be put on the backburner while the Department of Justice finishes up its investigation of the deal. The companies revealed in separate filings in a US District Court in Washington that they don't want to interfere with the government trial, which is scheduled for February 13. Both Sprint and Cellular South requested a trial date is set immediately after all the evidence is presented in the government case so their arguments can be heard before the transaction is completed.
AT&T on Friday motioned to dismiss the lawsuits of both Sprint and Cellular South attempting to block its merger with T-Mobile. The carrier giant cited lack of standing, or that it wasn't a valid plaintiff, for claimed bias. As a carrier, it couldn't claim to "wrap itself in the cloak" of the public's interest since it had a clear competitive incentive to block the deal, AT&T said.
Twitter has upgraded the direct messaging capabilities for its texting service. Now, in addition to tweets, users whose service providers support MMS can attach and share videos. To send, all a user need do is enter the text of a tweet as normal, attach a photo to the message, and send it to the relevant Twitter code.
Opposition to AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile galvanized Monday after Cellular South sued AT&T to stop the deal. The dispute contends that the merger would "substantially lessen competition" and put too much power in the hands of the top two US carriers, AT&T and Verizon. In a statement, it shared Sprint's view that the deal would hurt access to the best devices, hike prices, and hurt roaming deals.
MetroPCS and Cellular South have confirmed their first Android 2.3 phones. Samsung's Admire tackles the entry level with a 3.5-inch, 320x480 touchscreen and a 3.2-megapixel rear camera. Although budget, it's one of Samsungs most straightforward phones and uses the stock Google interface instead of its own TouchWiz.
The FCC on Monday sent out a request (PDF) to carriers asking them for information to help its investigation into the AT&T and T-Mobile deal. Verizon, Sprint, and regional carriers like Cellular South and US Cellular were all asked to provide responses to the deal and supporting evidence. Each got the same nine questions relating to coverage, cell site ownership, expansion, relationships with AT&T, their future spectrum plans, billing, and competitive reports.
Verizon on Tuesday sued the FCC to try and stop its new data roaming requirement. The carrier repeated arguments like those it has used to try and block net neutrality and argued that the FCC didn't have the authority to regulate roaming deals. It avoided a mistake it made in the neutrality case and waited until the rule was in the official register to launch its case.
Two contacts said Thursday that AT&T's buyout of T-Mobile could be expensive even if blocked by the US government. Terms in the deal reportedly require AT&T pay T-Mobile a $6 billion breakup fee if it can't be completed. Reuters understood that, while $3 billion in cash was already public, there would still be a deal for $2 billion in spectrum and a $1 billion roaming deal.
The US Senate hearing on Wednesday tripped up AT&T in its attempts to defend its proposed buyout of T-Mobile. When asked by Senator Al Franken if AT&T chief Randall Stephenson thought the iPhone exclusive could have gone to a regional carrier over AT&T, the CEO admitted that it was "not as likely" that Apple would have gone for a smaller carrier over a large national provider like his own. He unusually insisted that the iPhone wasn't responsible for significant growth even though he had repeatedly used it as an example of how data prices had lowered due to the iPhone existing.
Sprint chief Dan Hesse during his statements at the Senate hearing on the AT&T T-Mobile merger singled out device deals as a major reason to block the merger. Referring to Verizon and a post-merger AT&T as the "twin Bells," he warned that their overwhelming clout would "discourage" putting smartphones on tablets on smaller carriers. Hardware makers would want to reach the maximum audience and almost invariably skip Sprint.