Tech News Today 322
Recorded: September 6, 2011
Published: September 6, 2011
Tech News Today 322: GooLu
Sprint Sues to Stop AT&T From Buying T-Mobile, HP splitting the webOS GBU in two, and more.
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- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar
- Jason Howell ( )
- Mark Turpin ( )
- Following Justice Department, Sprint Sues to Stop AT&T From Buying T-Mobile
- Sprint files lawsuit to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA
- AT&T fires back against Sprint over T-Mobile acquisition suit
- Deutsche Telekom to Evaluate Options for T-Mobile USA Assets
- Fee at Stake, Deutsche Telekom May Slice Up T-Mobile USA
- Deutsche Telekom: We are entitled to a breakup fee
- Sprint Nextel [NYSE:S] today brought suit against AT&T, Inc., AT&T Mobility, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile seeking to block the proposed acquisition as a violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the District of Columbia as a related case to the Department of Justice's (DOJ) suit against the proposed acquisition.
- Susan Z. Haller, Sprint's vice president-Litigation- "With today's legal action, we are continuing that advocacy on behalf of consumers and competition, and expect to contribute our expertise and resources in proving that the proposed transaction is illegal."
- Sprint also says duopoly between ATT/Verizon AT&T would control more than three-quarters of that market and 90 percent of the profits.
- As a private company suing to block a merger under the Clayton Act, Sprint has to prove how it would be harmed by the transaction, and the filing doesn’t mince any words: Sprint says the “brazenly anticompetitive” transaction is a “classic violation of antitrust merger law” that would “leave a swath of victims in its wake.”
- An AT&T spokesperson told Engadget, "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."
- Deutsche Telekom, parent company of T-Mobile USA, said it would consider "carving out some assets" from T-Mobile USA in order to help gain regulatory approval for its sale to AT&T.
- Over the long weekend, Reuters reported that should the U.S. gov't stop the merger, Deutsche Telekom would not receive the $6B break-up fee.
- Today, Deutsche Telekom said it would be entitled to a breakup fee if AT&T's planned purchase of T-Mobile USA falls apart, refuting an earlier report that it could potentially end up with nothing.
- HP splitting the webOS GBU in two; software headed to Office of Strategy and Technology [exclusive]
- History Repeats Itself at Hewlett-Packard webOS Unit
- WebOS Global Business Unit being split into two units that will report to different HP divisions
- webOS software business is being moved inside HP’s Office of Strategy and Technology, or OS&T, which is headed up by Shane Robison, HP’s executive vice president and chief strategy and technology officer. [PalmSource?]
- WebOS hardware group remains within the Personal Systems Group under Steven DeWitt, which is HP’s formal name for the personal computer business it says it wants to spin off as a separate company. [PalmOne?]
- Reminiscent of 2003 when Palm split into PalmOne (hardware, merged with Handspring) and PalmSource (software). PalmSource went nowhere, was bought by ACCESS
- HP is trying to fix the same problem that Palm had- licensing software while making competing hardware
- RIM investor calls for sale of company or patents (report)
- Vic Albioni, chief executive of merchant bank Jaguar Financial Corp. and an investor in RIM, said in an interview with Bloomberg today that RIM should create a committee made up of independent directors to evaluate its potential strategic options [Sell itself? its patents?]
- Albioni said in the interview that his proposal has the support of several other shareholders who collectively hold less than 5 percent of the company's outstanding shares.
- back in June, In June, Northwest & Ethical Investments asked to split the roles of chairman and CEO, which were shared by co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis.
- the value of intellectual property in the wireless area is at an all-time high, so it makes sense that an investor would be pushing for that
- Comodo Hacker Claims Credit for DigiNotar Attack
- Diginotar hackers targeted CIA, Mossad and MI6
- Comodo CEO Says DigiNotar Hack Was State-Sponsored
- Iranians hit in email hack attack
- A hacker by the handle of "Comodohacker" is claiming responsibility for the DigiNotar hacks via postings on Pastebin
- the hacker claimed the Diginotar attack was retribution for the Dutch military's failure to protect Srebrenica during the Bosnian War (July 1995 killing of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims)
- Comodohacker has claimed he is a 21-year old Iranian student
- DigiNotar issued certificates that said they were from Google.com, addons.mozilla.com to hackers
- The Comodohacker Pastebin account was used to explain the attack on Comodo, which also issues SSL certificates
- according to the chief executive of Comodo, Melih Abdulhayoglu, said about the DigiNotar attack "We believe this is state-sponsored."
- Trend Micro concluded that Iran is behind the attacks to spy on Iranian Internet users.
- Up to 300,000 Iranians may have had their Google email monitored using security certificates stolen from Dutch firm DigiNotar.
- the hackers didn't just target big internet services from Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, and so on, but intelligence agencies as well, with www.sis.gov.uk, www.mossad.gov.il and www.cia.gov, allegedly being among the targeted domains.
- Hulu bidding heats up as DirecTV drops out
- Google Goes Big With Its Hulu Bid
- Satellite TV operator DirecTV has dropped out of the bidding process for Hulu after submitting too low of a bid, according the Financial Times.
- that leaves just Amazon, Yahoo and Dish Network bidding on Hulu. Amazon is the current favorite for winning the auction because Hulu CEO Jason Kilar is a former Amazon executive with close ties Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
- Peter Kafka adds more: Rather than bid on what Hulu’s owners have offered for sale, Google has proposed a different acquisition, on a larger scale, say people familiar with the sales process. If you want to speculate, you could imagine Google asking for access to more content, for a longer period of time, and perhaps offering up a couple billion dollars more.
- Hulu’s owners are scheduled to discuss the array of bids later this week.
- As Bloomberg reported last week, Dish is launching a Blockbuster-branded subscription streaming service in October that would include movies from cable aggregator Starz Entertainment, wants to take on Netflix
- iPhone 5 reservation coupons coming from Deutsche Telekom today, no further info - This is “in anticipation of supply bottlenecks,” says DT
- More evidence supports iPhone 5 on Sprint in early October - Best Buy is now apparently jumping on board by preparing to take pre-orders for a Sprint-compatible iPhone 5 beginning sometime this month, according to Boy Genius Report, with availability set for the first week in October
- Sprint suggests it’ll get the iPhone in lawsuit
- Best Buy Leak: iPhone 5 Launching Late October?
- Best Buy Oct 21 fixtures are for iPads, not iPhone 5s, says Macrumors
- Best Buy sources say the C2 end display in the leaked calendar is an iPad display. These endcap displays are meant to show off more iPad units.
- Will Apple launch a TV set?
- Apple Wants to Put USB 3.0 alongside Thunderbolt in Future Macs - report says prices for USB 3.0 host controllers at an all-time low - around $2-$3 apiece when bought in bulk. This compares to $10-$15 for a Thunderbolt chip
- Is Microsoft planning to hand out a Samsung Windows 8 slate at BUILD?
- Two people in Mexico may be facing up to 30 years in prison because of their tweets. The two posted messages that said kidnapping and shootouts were occurring near Veracruz schools, which sparked a city-wide panic. Many people ran to schools to save their children. However, there were no shootings or kidnappings and now the two face charges of terrorism and sabotage. Amnesty International says the arrest violates freedom of expression.
- In news that will surprise few, the MPAA and RIAA attempted to infiltrate file sharing sites according to a document released by Wikileaks. The industry groups came up with a strategy to leak music before the release dates to build trust with Warez Scene to gain access to its servers. So if you were paranoid about those files, you were right!
- Amazon's latest gadget has a touchscreen and probably weighs a couple of hundred pounds. Amazon has installed a delivery locker at a 7-Eleven store in Seattle. The unit has around 40 drawers and Amazon would delver your purchases to the locker. You'd pick up your order by entering a PIN. No more missed packages!
- Steven Sinofsky wrote over 1000 words defending Microsoft's decision to include the ribbon in the Windows 8 interface. He says that "the dislike of the ribbon is most intense in the audience of this blog" but notes that the vast majority of are pleased with the ribbon interface. Sinofsky pretty much says you can't please all of the users all of the time.
- Over the weekend, several sites including UPS, the Daily Telegraph and The Register were hacked. Going to those sites led showed a graphic with a message proclaiming September 4th as "World Hackers Day" and "hacking is not a crime" in leet speak. The hackers changed the DNS records of the sites, but the sites are now back to normal.
- Sony just hired former U.S. National Cyber Security Center director Philip Reitinger as a senior vice president. In case you have a short memory, Sony's PSN was the subject of a massive security breach. Of the hire, a spokesperson for Sony said "Certainly the network issue was a catalyst for the appointment."
- Last week, Microsoft was hit with a lawsuit claiming that Windows Phone 7 was transmitting location data without users' permission. On Monday, Microsoft officially responded by denying these claims and says the company is investigating. The company says it values its customers privacy and that any data on Windows Phones can't be connected to a particular user or device.
- The much anticipated Groupon IPO may be delayed according to the Wall Street Journal citing "a person familiar with the matter." Groupon may not be so gung-ho about going public because of stock market volatility. The source also said Groupon's original plan was to issue an IPO mid-September, but that's on hold.
- Reddit and Conde Nast are splitting up. Conde Nast has decided to spin off Reddit as its own company, but will own the entirety of the new company. The theory is that Reddit will be able to grow in a way that it couldn't if the current set up was maintained. Reddit will gain its own board of directors including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
- Bill Kunkel, Original Gaming Journalist, has diied at age 61 - Kunkel claimed the 1st regular column about games called “Arcade Alley,” in Video magazine back in 1978. In 1981, he & 2 partners founded Electronic Games, the 1st magazine devoted to games.
- On Monday, Netflix rolled out its service to Brazil, which is just the beginning of a huge rollout to 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean by September 12th.
- Thursday, September 8th, the BlackBerry Torch 9850 (that's the one with the 3.7-inch touchscreen and 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor) becomes available on Verizon's online store for $199.99. Brick and mortar stores get it on the 15th.
If AT&T & T-Mobile do end up merging into one company, it definitely will cause a whole bunch of people to be a lot worse off than before. This is because, if you remove T-Mobile from the picture, AT&T becomes the MONOPOLY on GSM coverage. For the many tourists who come to the USA from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa etc, their only choice is a GSM provider and if T-Mobile goes away, then AT&T has a Monopoly on that market. The same goes for people who live in the US but do a lot of overseas travel, they’ll also need a GSM phone (because most of the world has abandoned CDMA) and if AT&T has the monopoly on GSM, it doesn’t matter what Verizon or Sprint do, they can’t compete for those particular travelling customers.
We have 3 major mobile phone carriers here in Australia (the rest are MVNOs), but it works because they’re all GSM and so you can easily switch between them without buying new handsets if you’re on prepaid with no contracts (or if you’re prepared to pay the ETF for contracts). Having 3 major mobile phone carriers in the US just isn’t the same if 2 of them are incompatible with the 3rd one (and those 2 CDMA carriers don’t even allow you to move handsets between them).
So I’m definitely behind your DOJ in wanting to block this merger, the leaked documents prove this is all about killing competition and that’s not not what you want to be doing in this growing market!
"Hi TNT Crew,
I noticed recently that you talk a lot about Netflix an how Europe doesn't have video streaming. I'd like to clarify some things. It may seem from an American standpoint as if Europe was one market like the US, while this may be true for some manufacturing and big corporations, it's certainly not so true for consumer services and products. Every country had developed it's own sets of brands, etc. before it was possible for corporations to expand to other European countries. Just as important is the fact that a lot of different languages are spoken in Europe, which makes it difficult (especially in Movies and TV) to be a European company.
Considering this, all I can tell you about is the current streaming situation in Germany. We have two big streaming video services, Maxdome (http://www.maxdome.de/) and Telekom Entertain (http://www.entertain.de). Maxdome is a service similar to Netflix with a library of on demand Videos (either via pay per view or a monthly subscription). It's run by ProSiebenSat1 Media, which owns several TV channels here in Germany. Episodes of TV shows are usually available for streaming one week before they air. Entertain on the other hand is a complete internet TV via a set top box. All channels come through your broadband, you can use it as a DVR and also access their video on demand service.
Both services have their own problems, but it's not like we're living in the stone age ;).
best regards, Florian Behr"
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- Edited by: Jeff
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