DOJ Stories April 20

One notable feature of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL announced last fall was eSIM support that allows for cellular service without the need of a physical SIM card. Very few other devices have adopted the technology, so much so that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating claims that AT&T and Verizon colluded to restrict eSIM.

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DOJ Stories July 2, 2015

Yahoo is currently including Google ads in some of its search results in what the company described to the NY Times as a “small test.” The ads were first spotted by SEO Book.

Yahoo confirmed on Wednesday that it has begun testing the use of Google search ads for a small portion of its desktop and mobile web search results. “As we work to create the absolute best experiences for Yahoo users, from time to time, we run small tests with a variety of partners including search providers,” the company said.

Google offered Yahoo an ad partnership all the way back in 2008, but pulled out after objections from the Department of Justice on antitrust grounds …  expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

DOJ Stories April 5, 2013

Google today announced in a blog post on its Public Policy Blog that it has asked the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to investigate and take a stronger stance against patent privateering and patent assertion entities, aka patent trolls. Google linked to a document submittedGoogle-building to the government agencies mentioned above and noted that BlackBerry, Earthlink and RedHat are among other companies backing the request.

Within its post, Google’s Senior Competition Counsel Matthew Bye cited losses of nearly $30 billion a year in the U.S. due to patent trolls and urged companies to help Google create “cooperative licensing agreements that can help curb privateering.”

Trolls use the patents they receive to sue with impunity—since they don’t make anything, they can’t be countersued. The transferring company hides behind the troll to shield itself from litigation, and sometimes even arranges to get a cut of the money extracted by troll lawsuits and licenses.

Google described patent privateering as companies selling “patents to trolls with the goal of waging asymmetric warfare against its competitors.” While it didn’t name any companies specifically in its blog post or document submitted to the FTC, it did link to an article on Bloomberg that mentions Microsoft, Nokia, and Alcatel-Lucent as companies linked to patent privateering.

In the document submitted to the FTC, Google outlined its stance on patent trolls and recommended the FTC initiate an investigation into patent assertion entities and or expand its broader inquiry to include a number of important areas specifically related to patent privateering: expand full story

DOJ Stories June 25, 2012

T-Mobile signs AWS spectrum agreement with Verizon

T-Mobile just announced plans to exchange and purchase spectrum from Verizon Wireless in a deal the carrier claimed would improve its “spectrum position in 15 of the top 25 markets” that covers 60 million people. T-Mobile said the spectrum would help enhance its 4G network and advance the rollout of its LTE service. The agreement includes spectrum that Verizon planned to acquire from several cable companies, so T-Mobile will first have to wait for the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Justice to approve the deal:

“This agreement will provide T-Mobile with critical AWS spectrum, enhancing both network capacity and performance and allowing us to meet the growing consumer demand for 4G mobile broadband,” T-Mobile CEO and President Philipp Humm said. “This is good for T-Mobile and good for consumers because it will enable T-Mobile to compete even more vigorously with other wireless carriers. We anticipate FCC approval later this summer, in time for us to incorporate this new spectrum into our network modernization and the rollout of LTE services next year.”

T-Mobile mentioned a few of the cities that would benefit if the agreement goes through:

T-Mobile will gain spectrum covering 60 million people — notably in Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Minneapolis; Seattle; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Rochester, N.Y

DOJ Stories April 2, 2012

The Department of Justice plans to share settlement money with law enforcement agencies that participated in an investigation about Google distributing online advertisements from Canadian pharmacies illegally selling prescription drugs to Americans.

According to the Associated Press (via Boston.com), the agencies that participated in the investigation include Rhode Island state police, National Guard, attorney general’s office, North Providence police, and East Providence police.

Google ponied up $500 million last year to settle the investigation. The DOJ detailed the settlement’s particulars on its website.  Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha scheduled a news conference for this afternoon to discuss the money’s distribution between agencies.

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