AT&T to Buy Rival T-Mobile in $39 Billion Deal
AT&T Inc. said it was buying T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG for $39 billion in cash and stock, a move
that would create the nation's largest wireless carrier and shift the competitive landscape of the U.S. industry.
By combining the second- and fourth-largest U.S. mobile carriers, AT&T is showing a fearless attitude toward
They will be heavily scrutinizing what is the largest planned merger deal of 2011
T-Mobile has long been an antagonist to AT&T and chief rival Verizon Wireless, offering low prices that kept
pressure on rates
Verizon Wireless is also expected to benefit by losing a stubborn price oriented competitor
Money Rushes Into Social Start-Ups
As Wall Street and other investors clamor for a piece of social-networking giant Facebook Inc., Silicon
Valley venture capitalists are betting on a new generation of companies that hope to unshackle social
networking from personal computers—and shift it to the cellphone.
On Thursday, Color Labs, a phone-based social network is opening its doors.
The start-up recently secured $41 million from top venture-capital firms even before the company's
iPhone and Android apps were ready to debut.
The idea behind Color is that a phone's location-sensing abilities can build a user's social network for them:
Allowing users to share photos, video and messages based simply on the people they're physically near
The company's view on privacy is that everything in the service is public—allowing users who don't yet
know each other to peer into each other's lives.
Unlike Facebook, Color eliminates the acts of "friending" and selecting privacy settings. That's because when it
is turned on, Color collects global positioning, gyroscope, ambient lighting and other data from phones to
determine who else is in close proximity.
That means users will temporarily join the group of people at a birthday party or rock concert—even
strangers on a train. Phones running the Color app automatically share photos and videos taken with
other phones running Color nearby.
Many of the new companies feature photo taking and sharing at their core, such as Path Inc., founded by
former Facebook executive Dave Morin.
It received $8.5 million last month from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Index Ventures
It has also had conversations with Google Inc. about a buyout
Another phone photo-sharing company, Instagram, was barraged by inquiries from nearly 40 investors before
settling last month on $7 million from Benchmark Capital.
Yobongo, a three-week-old iPhone app that lets users chat with people located in their geographic
area, said Wednesday it raised $1.35 million
In January a group-texting service called GroupMe said it raised $10.6 million.
The flood of venture capital into mobile social start-ups is the latest sign of Silicon Valley's Web-fueled boom.
In recent months, investors have driven up the valuation of Facebook above $60 billion
social-gaming company Zynga Inc. to $10 billion.
Behind the spurt of new services is also the idea that the phone, carried by people at all times, can
reinvent the notion of a social network by sharing more real-time information about where people
are, what they're seeing and even who they're around.
The rush into mobile social companies also comes as Facebook is honing in on phones.
Facebook has more than 200 million users of its services on cellphones
This week Facebook bought mobile-technology company Snaptu and earlier this month acquired
group chat room service Beluga.
Last year, Facebook also unveiled a check-in service for its phone apps that allow users to volunteer their
location to friends, and also find deals from nearby businesses.
RIM to Offer Data-Management Service
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. will give its corporate customers an opportunity to shift back-office
management of email traffic and other BlackBerry services off-site, in a move that it says will save customers
money, speed the rollout of BlackBerry services and enhance security at a time when more and more
employees use smart phones for corporate and personal use.
The initiative comes as RIM readies the launch of its PlayBook tablet, a major product launch that will vault
RIM into the tablet-computer market to compete against Apple Inc.'s iPad.
It also comes as RIM's corporate subscriber base faces an unprecedented attack from Apple's iPhone and iPad
juggernauts, as well as a phalanx of smart phones that run on Google Inc.'s Android-operating system.
The move will be carried out in close conjunction with Microsoft Corp., which in October announced a major,
so-called cloud-service initiative of its own, called Microsoft Office 365. As part of that initiative, companies
that use Microsoft Exchange Server, which stores email, contact and calendar information, among other
things, can move their Exchange servers to off-site data centers. The initiative is still in the testing phase but is
expected to go live in a matter of months.