Sprint and T-Mobile nearing merger agreement

T-Mobile and Sprint, respectively the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the U.S., are nearing a merger agreement, undisclosed sources told Reuters Friday. A due diligence period would follow the finalization of the agreement’s terms, but the companies expect a deal by October, according to Reuters’ source.

In August, Reuters says, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said an announcement regarding merger talks would come in “the near future.”

The merger proposal would be the first one “with significant antitrust risk” to be submitted to the Federal Trade Commission since President Donald Trump took office, Reuters notes. The President was elected on a platform that included the deregulation of the business environment.

Mayoshi Son, the founder of Japanese venture capital firm SoftBank, which controls the Sprint Corporation, met with Trump in late December, just after the former tycoon won the election.

Son found Trump’s business policy potentially favorable for SoftBank, and promised to invest $50 billion in the U.S. economy and to create 50,000 jobs.

A merger proposal would evince Son’s confidence that the regulatory environment has become laxer since Sprint and T-Mobile abandoned a merger proposal in 2014 amidst pressure from the FTC.

Indeed, the FTC might be more receptive to a transformative merger in the telecom industry now than it was three years ago. Earlier this year, Reuters says, FTC Chairman Ajit Pai said “effective competition [exists] in the marketplace for mobile wireless services.” Thursday, the agency will vote on whether to submit Pai’s report on the state of competition in the wireless services market to the U.S. Congress, which requires such a report annually.

But, the terms of the new merger will likely be less advantageous for Son and Sprint than those reached in 2014. Under the previous deal, Sprint would have controlled the combined company, while T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telecom, would have become a minority shareholder.

Over the past three years, though, T-Mobile has outperformed Sprint. Accordingly, the terms of the new agreement will likely flip, Reuters’ source said. Deutsche Telecom and T-Mobile stockholders would own a majority of the combined enterprise, while SoftBank and the rest of Sprint’s shareholders would have a minority stake.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere, who took the reins in 2012 and has guided the company’s surge, will likely run the combined company.

The merged enterprise would have 130 million subscribers, Reuters notes, making it the United States’ third-largest wireless carrier, behind AT&T, which had 136.5 million subscribers as of July, and Verizon, which reported 147.2 million subscribers that same month.

Sprint’s market cap of approximately $34 billion, combined with T-Mobile’s $53 billion figure, would give the new company a value of around $87 billion. AT&T’s market cap is about $237 billion; Verizon’s exceeds $205 billion.

Sprint reported annual revenue of $33.3 billion for fiscal 2016, which ended March 31. T-Mobile posted $37.2 billion in annual revenue for calendar 2016. So, the combined company would likely generate over $70 billion annually.

Verizon posted consolidated revenues of $126 billion and wireless revenues of $89.2 billion in 2016. AT&T’s figure came in at $163 billion.

Analysts say the Sprint/T-Mobile merger provides ample opportunity to cut expenses as well.

In their bid for regulatory approval, the companies will likely emphasize that the combined company would create jobs by making investments in the development of 5G, the next generation of mobile internet connectivity.

But the merger will also precipitate layoffs as the new company consolidates its corporate structure, Roger Entner of Recon Analytics told Reuters.

According to Reuters, Sprint briefly pursued a merger with Charter Communications earlier this year.

The FTC continues to review another potential consolidation in the industry: AT&T’s proposed $85.4-billion acquisition of Time Warner.

Sprint shares jumped six percent Friday; T-Mobile stock rose 1.06 percent.

RootMetrics Releases Cellular Performance Data for First Half of 2017

On Tuesday, RootMetrics, a renowned independent research company that collects data on the reliability of cellular networks, released its report for the first half of 2017, Daniel Kline of themotleyfool.com reports. Testers drove 276,607 miles—further than the distance between the Earth and the moon— to perform just under 4.7 million tests of cellular performance.

Verizon once again came out on top overall, with a score of 94.5, but competitors closed the gap. AT&T received an overall score of 92.9; Sprint came in third with a score of 87.9, followed by T-Mobile at 86.5.1.6 points separated Verizon and AT&T, the range from top to bottom was a mere 8 points.

In the latter half of 2016, Verizon received an overall score of 93.9. AT&T scored 90.5, Sprint 84.7, and T-Mobile 81.2. Verizon and AT&T were separated by 3.4 points, and the range from top to bottom was 12.7 points.

The most recent report acknowledges that AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile all “made significant strides” in “metro-level performance,” which “provides the strongest gauge of a network for consumers.” RootMetrics considers not just “city centers” but “residential suburbs, business districts, recreational areas, and the highways that connect them” to be “metropolitan areas.” An overwhelming majority of consumers use their phones in such areas most of the time.

Verizon earned 617 first place awards in metropolitan areas. AT&T garnered 396, T-Mobile came in third with 271, and Sprint trailed the pack with 211. Verizon garnered 41 fewer first places than it did in the second half of last year, while AT&T picked up 24 more.

AT&T and T-Mobile “made big speed and reliability improvements in metro areas,” and even Sprint saw “significantly boosted data speeds and reliability at the metro level,” RootMetrics told The Motley Fool in an email.

Though RootMetrics claims the tests are impartial, some skeptics, including T-Mobile CEO John Legere, have argued otherwise. In an email to the media in February 2016, Legere accused Rootmetrics of severely handicapping T-Mobile in the study covering the second half of 2015.

“They manipulated their testing of the T-Mobile network, choosing to turn OFF Voice over LTE, our network technology that is on every single phone we sell,” the e-mail read. “VoLTE handles roughly 50% of calls made on the T-Mobile network. That is 250 million calls per day, or over 40 BILLION T-Mobile calls that RootMetrics just CHOSE to exclude in their latest tests. So the latest (and by latest, I mean up to 7 months old) RootMetrics results are worthless.

Legere claimed the “manipulation” was deliberate, and that “other carriers,” who “pay RootMetrics millions of dollars” receive favorable treatment in the tests.

RootMetrics told The Motley Fool it turned off VoLTE for the tests in question because “in the second half of 2015,” the feature “was only available on a small number of devices,” and “was not what the majority of consumers were experiencing.

“T-Mobile did add more VoLTE technology over the course of [the] last six months of 2015,” RootMetrics conceded, “but due to our rigorous scientific approach we do not switch out testing methodology for any carrier once our testing begins in a half.”

RootMetrics included VoLTE in its next report, regarding the first half of 2016, and in all subsequent studies.

Verizon is still the clear front runner among cellular service providers: it received 47 outright first place awards in metropolitan tests. AT&T was the next closest with 12 outright first places. T-Mobile won four, Sprint just one.

Last year, though, Verizon won 55 metropolitan tests outright. AT&T came in a distant second with 4 outright wins.

So, competition in the cell phone service sector is tightening, and consumers stand to benefit.

“Verizon is the leader with AT&T the clear No. 2,” Kline writes, “but for a lot of people, T-Mobile and Sprint have improved to the point where they are reasonable options, especially since they are the cheapest of the four major carriers.

Verizon Not Delivering to Customer Expectations

Customers of Verizon have noticed a decrease in their mobile data speeds especially being limited whenever they streamed or accessed videos on Netflix and YouTube. This has sparked a response in Verizon to optimize video applications on its mobile network in order to satisfy Verizon Wireless subscribers.

The speed cap by Verizon was noticed by both users of Reddit and the mobile-focused Howard Forums. Verizon users in both threads reported slower speeds than what they had been left to believe by Verizon advertisements and services whenever streaming Netflix and YouTube. A majority reported the speed maximums around 10 megabytes per second (Mbps) whenever using these services on their mobile data network.

To counter suppositions that the entire network was performing slower than usual, the same users also reported that they were receiving the normal, faster download speeds Verizon offers and advertises when connecting to other apps and websites. This suggests that this was not just a bug or mobile traffic issue, but rather a tampering or direct influence over Netflix’s and YouTube’s streaming services.

Specifically, in Netflix’s case, a majority of those who noticed the change are largely using internet speed test tool called Fast.com. Fast.com connects to and is directly powered by Netflix’s servers, serving as a barometer for overall Netflix speeds. A similar internet service tool is Ookla’s Speedtest.net, which measures overall internet speeds. When comparing the results of both tools, it was found that the speeds reported by Fast.com were significantly slower that the overall internet speeds.

In order to continue testing and ensure the problem was at Verizon’s end, users also tried using a VPN to access both Netflix and YouTube. VPNs circumvent a direct connection to Verizon’s mobile data networks, which removes any impact Verizon may have on internet streaming speeds. Results show that with a VPN both Netflix and YouTube had much faster streaming speeds.

Netflix has in the past tampered with both AT&T and Verizon users streaming speeds in order to still provide users with an acceptable video quality without pushing users over their monthly data caps and having to pay larger fees. Despite their good intentions, Netflix faced some backlash, and have since last year stopped this practice, and therefore has nothing to do with the lower speeds Verizon users are reporting. Netflix has also reported that Fast.com is not having any technical difficulties.

On the other hand, Verizon have acknowledged that it has been doing network testing in recent days, but cited the video experience issues reported by users as something that should not have been affected. Despite substantial evidence arguing that user’s video experience had been altered, Verizon state that customer experience was not affected by the network testing. Verizon have not clarified what the network testing consisted of, and have given no reports regarding speed capping for Netflix, YouTube or other streaming services.

There is tension between mobile network providers and streaming services as the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission is on the verge of overturning its existing net-neutrality rules. These rules are designed to prevent mobile network providers like Verizon from blocking, restricting or limiting certain websites indiscriminately or creating fast lanes that allow services to be delivered faster in exchange for financial payment.

It should be noted that 10 Mbps is a sufficient internet streaming speed for even HD video streaming, with only 4K video experiences suffering. Considering that only a few mobile phones are capable of streaming 4K resolution videos, the overall impact does not completely restrict user access to video streaming. However, the main issue is not the quality of the video streaming, but that paying Verizon customers are not receiving the appropriate services that they pay for.

Featured Image via Flickr/Mike Mozart

Data Breach Exposes Millions of Verizon Customer Records

Verizon’s partner Nice Systems suffered a data breach that exposed the records of 6 million customers. The data was accessed through an unprotected Amazon S3 storage server, leaving records compromised by customer service calls facilitator. Verizon claims that despite the data breach no loss or theft of customer information occurred.

The records in question are logs from residential customers who had called Verizon customer service within the past 6 months. The cause of the breach was a misconfigured security setting on the server that would enable anyone who knew the website address to access and download the files. This is exactly what happened as an employee of Nice Systems accessed the unprotected Amazon S3 storage server. Thankfully, Verizon reports that no external party had access to the data, minimizing the potential damage scope to the single employee that will bear the burdens of their responsibilities.

Each record included the customer’s name, mobile number, and significantly, the customer’s account PIN, along with their home address, email address, and their Verizon account balance. While some records were partially redacted to protect the security and privacy of customers, most were not. This means that anyone with access to the records could have impersonated a subscriber and been granted access to their account, or have sold the information to third parties that could find a use for the data provided.

Verizon and Nice Systems have reported an investigation into the security breach, commenting that the data was part of a “demo system,” but refusing further elaboration. Due to the undisclosed nature of the context regarding the statement, it is uncertain as to whether this is fact, presupposing that the breach did not have as large an impact as it could have, or simply damage control. The breach was first discovered by Chris Vickery, a research working for cybersecurity firm UpGuard, who noticed the breach on June 13th. After privately informing Verizon, an investigation was conducted and the data was finally secured on June 22nd, nine days after the breach was initially reported.

This is not the first case of a data breach with a major mobile carrier, and this is not the first security breach for Verizon. In 2015, data broker Experian experienced a major breach that resulted in the exposure of similar information for 15 million T-Mobile customers. And in 2016, Verizon’s enterprise unit had data stolen by hackers, resulting in the exposure of information regarding IT services to companies that are put up for sale online.

Verizon and all mobile carriers need to a great deal more investing into cybersecurity to ensure that their customer’s data is protected. Regardless of whether the data is stored on a third party site managed by a partner, the ones responsible for the damage caused by the data breach is Verizon themselves. Customers place their faith in Verizon to ensure that their privacy is maintained and considering that this is not the first time Verizon has suffered a data breach, it is certain that Verizon’s reputation has taken a hit.

Regardless of the severity of the consequences from a data breach, the trust that customers place in Verizon is minimal at best. Looking on the lighter side, that this server was a demo suggests that the impact will be reduced, but even then it shows customers of the efforts Verizon goes through to fulfill their corporate social contract to the customer. Needless to say, these cybersecurity methods need serious updating and securing if Nice Systems ever wants to be partnered with a mobile carrier again. Only time will tell as to whether Verizon and Nice Systems compensate the customers for the data breach, beginning with whether more customers will have important private information redacted to minimize potential damages in case of another data breach.

Featured Image via Flickr/Mike Mozart

T-Mobile is Ahead of the Competition with More Data on its Unlimited Plan

In case you haven’t noticed, this year has brought about many changes when it comes to smart phones and their carriers. Many of the top carriers have begun offering unlimited data plans. Every announcement from one carrier is followed by an even bigger announcement from another. In order to stand against competitors, AT&T got rid of its triple-play requirement for those who chose its unlimited plan.

Every major carrier might have a different plan, but one thing remains the same for all of them. Once you fall over that monthly data usage number, the soft cap comes in effect. It’s called a soft cap because consumers aren’t cut off from the data completely and there’s no threat of an overage charge. Even though you aren’t being charged and they won’t cut you off, there’s still a limit that applies.

However the competition never really sleeps. In fact, T-Mobile increased its data limit in order to flag in more customers from rival mobile plans. T-Mobiles previous data limit used to be 28GB per month. Recently, though, the company has boosted that number up to 30GB per month. Once that number is reached during the month, you will be “deprioritized” during the peak times.

That 2GB increase might sound like just a smidge of raise, however, it has pushed T-Mobile up to the front of the line when it comes to data allowance. Its competitors, AT&T and Verizon stop the buck at just 22GB. Sprint, on the other hand, comes at number two with 23GB of data.

https://youtu.be/pvDxysWmmEE

If the word “deprioritize” caused you to scratch your head, don’t worry. It means exactly what you think. Other customers will be given top priority. This means that if you happen to be in a crowd of people, your data is going to slow down.

These data numbers, if you stop to think about it, are quite generous. There’s also no actually guarantee that there’s going to be perpetually slow internet once a user has come to the end of their data limit. These numbers are, however, something to consider if you or someone on your plan happens to be heavy handed when it comes to data usage.

After Renegotiation, Verizon Pays $350 Million Less for Yahoo

Yahoo says it is will to cut back $350 million of the price that Verizon will be to obtain the internet business. This decision seems to be following the unknown costs caused by the hack that Yahoo suffered some time ago.

Both Verizon and Yahoo have agreed to share the liabilities that come with the hacks. The hacks occurred sometime during 2013 and 2014. During this time, over 1 billion of Yahoo’s users were exposed to hacker who gained the email, names, birthdays, and security questions of over 1 billion of the internet company’s users. It was the largest security breach that any company has ever experienced. That hack was soon followed by the breach of nearly 500 Yahoo users’ accounts. As Yahoo wraps up its investigation of the incidents, it says it plans on releasing more information.

It was this major breach of Yahoo security that put the deal to sell its internet business to Verizon. The deal, which was made last summer, is now at an estimated value of $4.48 billion. It would seem that where shareholders were once hesitant, they are now ready to vote on the deal as soon as April.

Despite the breach of its security, Yahoo stressed that these hacks have very little effect on how its services are run. Yet when the numbers are run, it’s shown that there has not only been a drop in emails sent but a decrease in page views altogether.

Verizon had also obtained AOL back in 2015 for $4.4 billion. Verizon had initially said that it would combine Yahoo with its AOL internet business, however it would seem that is no longer the case. Now, Verizon will keep the two companies separate from each other. Even though Verizon plans to keep the brands separate, it will use the combined sales and digital advertising from both to bring in the audience of almost one billion internet users.

Yet Yahoo and AOL are not as large as internet giants like Facebook and Google. While Yahoo is still known to drag in an abundant audience, investors hold Google and Facebook as alternatives since either currently rule the digital advertising world.

When it comes to term of selling its internet business to Verizon, there is no clear answer as to whether Marissa Mayer, the former Google executive who became Yahoo chief back in 2012, will stay on with the company once things are settled with Verizon. Mayer didn’t do so well when it came to turning around Yahoo’s internet business which seemed to struggle for quite some time. That led to her having to write off a majority of the value that came with her acquisition of Tumblr.

Verizon’s executive vice president, Marni Walden, commented on the company’s acquisition of Yahoo saying, “We have always believed this acquisition makes strategic sense.” Walden also went on to say that Verizon is enthusiastic about the deals completion, and that Verizon can’t wait to “welcome Yahoo’s tremendous talent and assets into our expanding portfolio.”

AT&T Announces New Unlimited Plan

With Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint coming out with unlimited data plans to bring in more customers, it was only a matter of time before AT&T joined in. The company announced that starting February 17th AT&T says it will be offering a new unlimited data plan for its consumers.

Even though each company is coming out with a new unlimited data plan, neither wants to be outdone by any of the others. That brings about extra incentives like extra gigabytes of data and even Verizon has an offer for free iPhone 7, or iPhone 7 plus with the switch to its unlimited data plan.

As for AT&T, the company is allowing any postpaid customers to get in on its unlimited data deal. This means that customers don’t have to have a DirecTV or U-Verse subscription in order to be a part of the unlimited data plan.

The unlimited data plan provides users with unlimited data, talk, and text. One single line will cost about $100 per month. If consumers chose the family of four plan they will pay an initial cost of about $220 until a credit of $40 begins after two billing cycles. After the two billing cycles, the fee will be $180.

The plan also promises its users the ability to make unlimited calls from the United States to Mexico and Canada. It doesn’t stop there. The plan allows for unlimited texting to more than 120 countries. Also, if customers add the Roam North America option they won’t have to worry about any roaming charges. However, just like many of its competitors, AT&T has a soft data cap. After 22 GB of data usage, speed might slow down a bit when the network gets overfilled.

One thing about AT&T’s new unlimited plan is that there is no tethering. This means no HotSpot. Anyone who wants to use their smartphone at a HotSpot will be placed on a capped data plan.

Another feature of the new unlimited plan is the stream saver. This will bring down videos to 480p, but customers have the option to turn this off if they so choose.

However, despite calling this plan new, it doesn’t seem to add anything of the sort. In fact, when compared to the other plans not only is the lack of 4G LTE tethering undesirable but with the plan at $100 per month for one line, AT&T is the most expensive.

Verizon and Yahoo Renegotiating After Hacks

Verizon is close to a renegotiated deal to buy Yahoo! Inc.’s internet properties for $250 million to $350 million less than the original agreed-upon price of $4.83 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Verizon has spent the last year trying to convince Yahoo to amend the terms of the agreement to reflect the economic damage following two cyber attacks. Verizon and Altaba Inc., the renamed entity of what will remain of Yahoo after the deal, are expected to share any continuing legal responsibilities, according to people briefed on the matter.

The revised agreement has yet to be finalized, but an official announcement of the agreed up terms could come within weeks, if not days, according to the anonymous source.

Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, California, has been under scrutiny by federal investigators and lawmakers since divulging the largest known data breach in history. Yahoo disclosed in December that in 2013, cyberthieves siphoned sensitive data including users’ email addresses, scrambled account passwords, and dates of birth. The data stolen may allow criminals access to even more sensitive personal information in other places online. This announcement came on the heels of a 2014 data breach that affected at least 500 million user accounts. In both cases, there is evidence to suggest that Yahoo withheld information about the intrusions for some time before disclosing them to the public.

Verizon hopes to join Yahoo’s search function, email, messenger tools, and advertising technology with its AOL unit. The cellphone carrier acquired AOL in 2015 for $4.4 billion in an endeavor to break out of the oversaturated wireless market. Verizon’s wireless phones service is facing stiff competition from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Analysts list the need to build up its digital media business as a reason to come to terms with Yahoo quickly.

The initial deal was announced in July and was slated for final touches in the first quarter of 2017. Last month, however, Yahoo announced delays into the second quarter as the company assessed the impact of the security breaches, as well as closing condition requirements. The possibility of revised deal signals that the investigations into the breaches have come to a close.

AT&T Once Again Raises Unlimited Data Costs

AT&T reported that it will up the price of its long time unlimited data plan by $5. This is one of its first increases since last year.

AT&T said that this change will affect subscribers that are already on the unlimited plan. Those who are on AT&T’s “legacy unlimited data plan” already saw a spike in their unlimited plan back in February by $5 increasing to $35. The announcement of the new price hike will bring the plan up to $40 per month.

AT&T stopped making unlimited data available to its new subscribers. The company even went as far as barring it from its current users who wanted to switch to new plans. Last year AT&T created a new unlimited plan. The problem with this was that those subscribers to DirecTV and U-verse were the only ones who got the advantage.

It’s good to note that the $40 is only what’s charged for the data. If subscribers want voice and texting the charges will escalate to around $90 per month. Instead of paying extra, AT&T is encouraging many of those under the unlimited plan to switch one of newer plans.

These new plans are to have better benefits that the older unlimited plans lack. For example, there are beneficial uses of sharing internet connection with other devices in hotspot zones. Yet it seems that while AT&T is providing its customers with good plan options, the company still operates on devious levels.

Both AT&T and its competitor Verizon have come up with ways to bar customers from acquiring unlimited data plans. AT&T found ways of limiting data to customers. If a customer were to use more than 3 to 5GB in a month, AT&T penalized the customer via data. Verizon, on the other hand, made its customers give up their unlimited data if the person used more than 200GB in a month. Since then, however, AT&T loosened the reigns on its customers. They increased the overuse of GB to 22 instead of the 5 or 3GB.

As an AT&T customer, I’m a bit peeved over this. What about other AT&T customers? What do you think about this?

One Billion Yahoo Users Hacked

In the summer of 2013, Yahoo experienced the largest known data security breach of any company. Hackers perforated Yahoo email systems and collected names, birth dates, alternate emails, and security questions of over 1 billion users.

Yahoo is one of the oldest sources for obtaining free email addresses. This isn’t the first time the company has been hacked. Back in 2014, nearly 500 million accounts were breached, and Yahoo has been making progress tracking down the suspect. The information stolen by the hackers three years ago, however, could be used to break into other accounts across the web. This also includes government database systems, since a few million military employees, including 150,000 in the U.S., in various nations were included in the list of victims.

In the last three years, the information seemed lost. Andrew Komarov, the chief intelligence officer at InfoArmor, claims that the hacked data popped up for sale by a hacking database in Eastern Europe this past August. It’s Komarov’s cybersecurity firm’s job to scour the dark parts of the internet, called the “dark web” by some, where hackers, scammers, and thieves lurk. According to him, three spammers have already paid about $300,000 each for a copy of the stolen data.

Komarov took a copy of the data to military and law enforcement in Canada, Australia, Britain, and the United States to verify the authenticity of the information. These nations then took their findings to Yahoo.

However, until authorities came to Yahoo over a month ago with copies of the stolen data, Yahoo had no idea the hack had taken place. The company made a statement on Wednesday saying they have no idea who could have done this or what they did will all the information they’ve acquired.

Experts in cybersecurity say that the major threat with this incident isn’t the information that was hacked. The hackers opened a can of worms that can lead to more vital information about users that lay in the vastness of the world-wide web.

Many users don’t take the advice to use different passwords for different sites. It’s hard to memorize all those letters and numbers. However, using the same password or security questions every time makes it easier for scammers and hackers access different accounts that contain very important user information.

These two breaches in Yahoo security have really put a standstill on Yahoo’s deal with Verizon. Yahoo had planned to sell its internet company to Verizon for an estimated $4.8 billion. Verizon, however, isn’t sure whether it should demand Yahoo cut the price of sale or just walk away from the deal altogether. This could be because since Yahoo has been hacked users seem to be steadily losing faith in the company.

The FBI made stated that they have begun an investigation on the incident. The stolen data is still up for sale on the “dark web”, yet it hasn’t been getting too many high offers since Yahoo changed all the passwords.

AOL Sold for $4.4 Billion to Verizon

Buy-outs happen all the time. The interesting thing about this is what usually happens after the conglomeration. Things like that almost always change the dynamics and the method of operation of the companies. Even though AOL and Verizon are both involved in the distribution of communication and media, the services they provide are quite varied.

At $50 per share, this should be an interesting absorption for Verizon. The media giant has the chance to traverse itself into a completely different aspect of the media and communication industry.

The days of dial-up internet are far behind us and an industry that provides an outdated service or product doesn’t always survive too long. The future functionality of AOL is what will truly determine if Verizon is in fact paid the right amount for the buy-out.

Looks like Verizon is heading for the ultimate goal of stability through consolidation, at least for the next decade. $4.4 billion is a major acquisition and should be able to be provisional to Verizon for a better status in the market. Either way, whatever the changes Verizon brings about should be frills that will affect their consumers for the better. After all, consumer satisfaction it what culminates to a better turn in the market.

Image: Via Flickr/Jason Persse

Netflix ignores legal threats made by Verizon

Netflix ignores Verizon’s demands to stop shaming internet companies.

Netflix started using error messages to notify their users when their service is causing the video to not load as well. Netflix claimed that Verizon wasn’t the only one they were targeting. Verizon expressed concerns that these messages will deter people from using the cable provider.

On Netflix’s website they have an ISP Speed Index for different countries which rates the average speed of internet providers. Currently Verizon Fios is ranked at number 8.

Qz.com originally reported on the error messages that caught Verizon’s attention. Verizon issued a cease and desist letter to Netflix saying, “There is no basis for Netflix to assert that issues with respect to playback of any particular video session are attributable solely to the Verizon Network.”

Verizon went on to say that is the only thing that is affecting the videos ability to load is Netflix itself. The letter continues on leading to Verizon asking Netflix to stop giving those notices to Verizon users. They also ask that within five days of them receiving the letter that Netflix provides proof of the accusations, and that they give Verizon a list of the people who received the error message.

If the demands aren’t met, legal action is threatened to be taken. Netflix was not phased with the threats, and issued a response to Verizon. In the email it said, “This is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider.”

Netflix wants their users to know the type of service they’re getting, and they want to continue doing these tests to determine user’s experiences with their product.

Verizon hasn’t issued any other responses to Netflix. Any legal action that they have threatened to take has yet to be seen.

This is the error message Verizon users received when they were having issues with their connection while using Netflix.
This is the error message Verizon users received when they were having issues with their connection while using Netflix.