32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for March 11, 2014
====== 32 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 15:50:21 -0500 From: Barry Margolin <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: California Yellow pages firm sues phone giant AT&T Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <email@example.com>, HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > On Thursday, March 6, 2014 9:49:04 PM UTC-5, Bill Horne wrote: > > > The lawsuit filed by Fresno-based Valley Yellow Pages says a rival phone > > book run by AT&T and Cerberus Capital Management LP are offering > > illegal, secret discounts to advertisers. The lawsuit seeks an end to > > the alleged practice and unspecified damages. > > > I'm no lawyer, but at first this article seemed strange to me because > businesses offer private discounts all the time to selected customers. > > One sentence in the linked article said: > "The laws Alldredge accuses AT&T and its partners of breaking stem from the > 1930s and were written to keep large national companies from anticompetitive > and fraudulent behavior used to crush smaller businesses." > > That leads me to two key questions: > > 1) Is today's AT&T still considered a "large national company"? Obviously the > old Bell System AT&T fell into that category, but since divestiture does it > still fit? Verizon is a very large company. Further, the yellow pages > marketplace overall has greatly declined, along with telephone directories in > general, as users make use of the Internet instead. Given all that, it would > seem AT&T's alleged marketplace dominance isn't as big as claimed. In another > example, today IBM competes in services that it was once prohibited from doing > due to anit-trust laws. > > 2) In today's free-wheeling deregulated business atmosphere, are those old > 1930s laws still applicable? For instance, in the 1930s, banks were strictly > limited in size and function, but today they can be nation-wide, offering a > variety of financial services. Likewise, many other businesses have evolved > into national powerhouses, squeezing out smaller players. Many "big box" > retail store chains have destroyed modest sized "Main Street" businesses. > Today, tough competition is perceived as a good thing--the marketplace doing > its job. AT&T may not be the behemoth monopoly that it was before divestiture, but it's still a huge, national business. Due to the increased competition in the telecom industry it has been allowed to reacquire some of its former subsidiaries, and also get back into businesses that it was prohibited from previously. A huge company like AT&T can operate a subsidiary at a loss, so that they can drive prices down to a level that none of the small competitors can match. The main company subsidizes the subsidiary during this period. Once they're driven out of business, it can then raise prices to normal levels. This is probably what they're complaining about. It's not the same thing as big box stores out-competing mom-n-pop stores. They offer lower prices due to simple economies of scale, not "predatory pricing" and secret deals. -- Barry Margolin, email@example.com Arlington, MA *** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 21:20:09 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Aereo Update: Supreme Developments Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> By FHH Law, CommLawBlog, March 4, 2014 | With more than six weeks to go before the April 22 oral argument, | the Aereo case in the Supreme Court is in what litigators refer to | as the "briefing phase" - the various parties are busy preparing | and submitting their written arguments to the Court. The | broadcaster-petitioners have already filed their brief; Aereo's is | due shortly. | | But newsworthy things are still happening. Indeed, despite the snow | storm that shut down Washington, D.C. yesterday, there were two | noteworthy developments in the Aereo case. | | First and perhaps most important, the U.S. Department of Justice -- | through its principal appellate mouthpiece, the Solicitor General -- | weighed in with an amicus brief in support of the petitioners. This | is Big News because the DOJ's opinion tends to be taken very | seriously by the Court. And the DOJ's brief reads like a | broadcaster's dream. (You can read a copy of the brief, posted by | Deadline.com, [at the second URL below - mod] -- props to | Deadline.com for tracking this down and getting it up on line so | quickly.) | | Check out DOJ's summary of its own argument: | | The proper resolution of this dispute is straightforward. | Unlike a purveyor of home antennas, or the lessor of hilltop | space on which individual consumers may erect their own | antennas . . ., [Aereo] does not simply provide access to | equipment or other property that facilitates customers' | reception of broadcast signals. Rather, [Aereo] operates an | integrated system--i.e., a "device or process"--whose | functioning depends on its customers' shared use of common | facilities. The fact that as part of that system [Aereo] uses | unique copies and many individual transmissions does not alter | the conclusion that it is retransmitting broadcast content | "to the public." Like its competitors, [Aereo] therefore must | obtain licenses to perform the copyrighted content on which | its business relies. Continued: http://www.commlawblog.com/2014/03/articles/broadcast/aereo-update-supreme-developments/ -or- http://tinyurl.com/la49hhe Supreme court amicus filing by DOJ: http://www-deadline-com.vimg.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Aereo-13-461tsacUnitedStates-WM__140303221932.pdf -or- http://tinyurl.com/nwttuev
Date: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 06:11:01 -0500 From: Jim Bennett <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: R.I.P. Mark J. Cuccia Message-ID: <531AFAC5.email@example.com> On 2014-02-24 12:22, HAncock4 wrote: > ..... > > I had the opportunity to speak with him several times and he was a > very nice and helpful person. He was very knowledgeable about > telecommunications. As noted, he was a frequent and valuable > contributor to the Digest for many years. > > I never had an opportunity to meet Mark or even speak to him on the phone. Needless to say, I now regret this. As Ogden Nash said, it is not the things we do in life that we regret, but rather the things that we fail to do. I have read Mark's articles in various on-line publications for years, and was always floored by his encyclopedic level of knowledge. One of my favorite digest articles by Mark was decades ago, and concerned toll stations in the Southwestern United States. The piece, if you all remember, centered around his ultimately successful attempts to call an elusive and remote station known as "Drakesbad Number Two." I have been fascinated by toll stations ever since. Around the middle of last year, Mark's postings to the various on-line pubs suddenly stopped. I noticed the lapse, but didn't pay it much mind, as he has sometimes disappeared for months at a time in the past. In retrospect, his previous absences may have been related to his health. RIP Mark, you will truly be missed. Jim Bennett ======================================= Still trying to reach "Drakesbad No.2"
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2014 13:33:22 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Tenth Circuit to Aereo: That's Right, NOT in this Circuit! Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> By FHH Law, CommLawBlog, March 8, 2014 Aereo's losing streak continues. Readers will recall that last month a U.S. District Judge in Utah granted broadcasters' motion for an injunction preventing Aereo from operating in the six states that comprise the Tenth Circuit. Not surprisingly, Aereo appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Acting on an expedited basis, a three-judge panel from the Circuit has turned Aereo down. As a result, Aereo is now required to shut down operations in Utah, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming at least until the Supreme Court decision on Aereo's Second Circuit case comes down, likely in late June. And if the Supremes reverse the Second Circuit and hold instead for the broadcasters, Aereo may not be able to crank back up at all. The Tenth Circuit's decision denying Aereo relief from the injunction is unexceptional -- two pages long, which is par for the course in such orders. But it does underscore a continuing theme running through the extended Aereo/FilmOn X litigation: in reaching its conclusion that Aereo is not likely to succeed on the merits, the three-judge Tenth Circuit panel split 2-1. In other words, there continues to be disagreement among federal judges relative to the merits of the opposing arguments here. Which, of course, merely heightens the likely drama at the Supreme Court. Stay tuned. Continued: http://www.commlawblog.com/2014/03/articles/broadcast/tenth-circuit-to-aereo-thats-right-not-in-this-circuit/index.html -or- http://tinyurl.com/ozs3xul Neal McLain
TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom- munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Bill Horne. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. The Telecom Digest is moderated by Bill Horne.
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