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18 Feb 2012 13:08


Biz, Tech: Mike D gets respect, opportunity to vote on AT&T’s net neutrality policy

  • They didn’t say anything about cash or jewelry, but the SEC did side with three AT&T investors — including the Beastie Boys’ Michael “Mike D” Diamond — who believed that shareholders should have a vote in the company’s net neutrality policy, because it has become part of the national debate. AT&T argued that the vote would “directly interfere with its network management practices”, but ultimately the SEC ruled that wireless providers must now allow for shareholder votes on net neutrality proposals. Should such proposals pass, providers would be required to “operate a neutral network with neutral routing along the company’s wireless infrastructure.” source

29 Dec 2011 15:06


Biz: Verizon plans to add fee for non-automatic online payments

  • $2 fee to pay your bill online, as planned by Verizon Wireless source
  • » Nickel and diming, redux: To be clear, this fee wouldn’t be instituted in every case — people using automatic bill-pay wouldn’t be subject to it, nor would people paying by electronic check (at least according to the initial source of this news, a leaked memo obtained by Engadget). That said, if you’re looking to make a one-off payment, or aren’t scheduled for automatic payments, you can expect  a tidy little $2 charge starting January 15th. What reaction consumers will have is yet unclear; it has, however, been a bad year for companies trying to slip extra fees onto customers.

12 Dec 2011 15:19


Biz: Rumors fly on possible Verizon/Netflix acquisition

  • If you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em: That would seem to be the principle behind an effort by Verizon to purchase the DVD-shipping and movie streaming giant, though it bears noting that this is reported as little more than rumor at present. It would, however, be fitting with Verizon’s general posture of late; they’ve been open about their desire to enter the streaming movie business, with their CEO last week admitting they’d looked into purchasing Hulu. This would be an advantageous time for somebody to acquire Netflix, as their stock has plummeted in recent months following announced price increases, and the utterly disastrous Qwikster plan; conversely, though, these rumors have sent their stock upwards by 6%. source

06 Dec 2011 11:23


Tech: Verizon blocks Google Wallet on “security” concerns

  • Read: Google’s product is competing with our product. Google Wallet has drawn a lot of attention in recent months for its end-to-end reinvention of the paying experience — one that, if it takes off, could make carrying around credit cards a thing of the past. However… the first phone on Verizon’s network that could support the technology behind Google Wallet, the Galaxy Nexus, has the software disabled. The company says they’ve blocked it in an effort to provide “the best security and user experience.” However… Verizon is working with AT&T and T-Mobile on a competing service, Isis, which has yet to launch. Perhaps that’s it? Yeah, we think so. source

25 Nov 2011 11:38


Biz, U.S.: Off the table (for now): The AT&T merger with T-Mobile

  • what After a long back-and-forth with the government over the implications of the merger, AT&T said Thursday (that’s right, on Thanksgiving!) that they would not pursue FCC approval of a merger with T-Mobile.
  • why It looked very unlikely to get through regulators’ clutches. The merger would have effectively marginalized Sprint in the market, leading the FCC to call a hearing on the merger, and the DOJ to file an antitrust suit.
  • however Both AT&T and T-Mobile have much to lose from the stunted deal — AT&T in penalty fees (reaching into the billions) and lost infrastructure, T-Mobile in declining business. They will probably try again soon. source

31 Aug 2011 23:34


Biz, Politics: Rick Perry: Totally backed that AT&T merger with T-Mobile

  • $500,000 from AT&T to Rick Perry source
  • » AT&T’s contributions = Rick Perry’s support? Back in May, Rick Perry told the FCC he backed the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. “I believe that this merger will continue to provide for great consumer choice, offer a wide range of service options, and spur continued innovation,” he wrote. He might’ve had a little help from those campaign contributions over the past decade. AT&T has a bit of a history of going out of its way to turn public favor its way, going so far as to bizarrely convince GLAAD to support the merger. With the Justice Department coming out against the merger and AT&T’s contributions to Perry coming under scrutiny, will Perry back down? (Strangely enough, BTW, the Justice Department’s James Cole made a statement that reads like the polar opposite of what Perry wrote: “We believe the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices, and lower-quality products for their mobile wireless services.” Hrm.)

31 Aug 2011 11:15


Biz: Justice Department attempts to block AT&T merger with T-Mobile

  • then A while back, AT&T announced it would attempt to purchase T-Mobile for $39 billion, in an attempt to shore up deficiencies in its wireless network. Other companies and consumer groups, most notably Sprint, loudly complained.
  • now Now the Justice Department’s trying to block the merger. “AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low-priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” their complaint said. *BOOM.* source

25 Aug 2011 10:44


Biz: Unemployment claims rise based on a single company’s labor issues

  • what Even though investors were expecting a drop in first-time jobless claims last week to roughly 400,000, they actually went up to 417,000 — up 5,000 from the prior week. Wait a second …
  • why Simple — Verizon workers went on strike, and 8,500 of them filed unemployment benefits (12,500 filed the week before). They’ve since gone back to work, so expect this to change next week. source

10 Aug 2011 10:30


Biz: Striking Verizon worker: They want to turn us into “Wal-Mart workers”

  • All the benefits that we’ve worked and fought for, 30 and 40 years, they want to take off the table … they want to make us like Wal-Mart workers. No benefits and low pay.
  • Striking Reading, Mass. Verizon worker Paul Murphy • Offering his take on the negotiations that led to the first strike Verizon’s had in over a decade. The strike, which involves the company’s landline workers, flared up after the company pushed to make it easier to fire workers and give raises based on performance, not seniority. The company says that the workers are among the highest-paid telecommunications workers in the industry, and that they have no plans to outsource workers. (h/t John Ness) source

07 Aug 2011 11:39


Biz: Verizon: “Can you hear me now?” Workers: “No, because we’re on strike!”

  • 45,000 Verizon workers are now on strike source
  • » Verizon’s tough stance led to strike: In the first strike the company has faced in 11 years, many of the company’s field technicians and customer service workers were fending off a tough stance the company took in negotiations — they were hoping to make it easier to fire workers and also wanted to change the method they decided on raises. Verizon’s push is indicative of the evolution away from the more-profitable landline business and towards wireless.