FCC Puts Comcast + Time Warner Merger Review on Hold

Comcast-LogoIn a public open letter to Comcast and Time Warner, the FCC announced they will be hitting pause on their 180 day review of proposed merger between the two largest cable companies in the United States.

Only 85 days into the review process, both Comcast and TWC failed to meet deadlines on information requests in September. The FCC also responds to claims that the Comcast NBC Universal merger did not affect pricing, and that there was a substantial amount of data contradicting that claim needing examination. The FCC will resume their review process October 29th, allowing more time for the public to file comments and responses to the merger.

FCCPublic reaction to the merger has largely been negative, with many fearing the affects of what one super-large cable company will do to pricing and competition for services. It’s also become a cornerstone talking point in the ongoing net neutrality debate, as companies like Netflix have been forced to engage in negotiations and paying higher data transfer fees to prevent their services being throttled. It’s also given rise to a cottage industry of people recording poor customer service experiences with Comcast, and posting those recordings online.

You can read the FCC’s public letter here: Letter to Comcast, TW, and Charter regarding stopping clock

Updated: Lenovo to buy Motorola from Google for $3 Billion!

lenovo-logo-1Well now that the dust has settled a bit, we can actually take a closer look at some of the details of this proposed deal. Though it was kind of funny how many corporate experts came flocking out of various corners of the internet following the freakish suddenness of this announcement.

The Motorola that Lenovo will acquire will be a very different animal than the one that Google purchased for $12.5 Billion. Firstly, there’s no set-top division. That was sold to Arris Group for $2.35 Billion.

We also know that the experimental division of Motorola responsible for the modular Project Ara will be staying with Google. As will most of the patents they acquired in buying Moto. Lenovo will receive all of the Motorola branding and trademarks. Not too shabby as they’ll instantly become the number three Android manufacturer.

Lenovo will also receive a patent licensing deal. The timing on this makes perfect sense when placed next to the deal Samsung and Google hammered out recently. Google is making a tremendous amount of patent material available to the top Android manufacturer, and the number one PC manufacturer (who also happens to be making a play for more of the mobile market). Lenovo and Samsung get more IP weapons, and Google gets a Samsung less focused on altering Android and a new home for Moto for them to keep stave off any perception of impropriety. Lenovo gets a great brand with a lot of history, and like IBM’s Thinkpads, Lenovo is proving itself very capable of reviving old brands. My histrionic speculation below doesn’t feel like it was TOO far off the mark…

So why aren’t I happier about this? Rationally I know this is probably the best possible move for all parties involved. I think I’m somewhat disappointed on Motorola’s behalf. It takes a long time to incorporate a company following a buy out. We were just starting to see the fruits of a newer, leaner, meaner Moto. The Moto X was a terrific handset, and Moto G was the best possible Android answer to the onslaught of low cost Windows Phones like the Lumia 520.

Now little Moto has to move to a new home. I’m very confident Lenovo will be a solid keeper for the beleaguered brand, but I’m bummed seeing anything which might interrupt the little bit of momentum that we’ve started to see.

And while this makes fantastic business sense for Google, both from a revenue standpoint and to maintain good relationships with other manufacturers, it makes me feel like this entire procedure really was a cynical grab for a patent portfolio. The very accusations I defended Google from back in 2012. I don’t like being wrong like that.

More details on the Motorola Blog and Lenovo’s Press Release. My original article below. Continue reading “Updated: Lenovo to buy Motorola from Google for $3 Billion!”

After defeating Net Neutrality, Verizon buys Intel Media Cloud TV services

Verizon-logoThey do move quickly over at Big Red don’t they.

After an appellate court ruled that the FCC didn’t have the authority to enforce net neutrality on data networks, Verizon is announcing plans to buy Intel Media. Intel Media is the wing of Intel working on next generation cloud, TV, and multimedia services. Following their recent acquisition of Edgecast content delivery networks and upLynk’s video encoding technology, it seems pretty clear that Verizon is aggressively working towards expanding their offerings in IPTV, cloud, and streaming services.

Now they also have a pass from the judicial system allowing them to legally prioritize their own services while degrading their competitor’s services. The free market works.

Full Intel PR below.

Continue reading “After defeating Net Neutrality, Verizon buys Intel Media Cloud TV services”

Updated: Nokia selling Devices & Services to Microsoft for 5.4 Billion Euro

And so it begins!

nokia selling to microsoft somegadgetguy devices services smartphonesRumors have been flying since the initial WP7 Lumia 900 was released, that at some point Microsoft would swallow up Nokia. These rumors have intensified in light of Redmond producing their own line of Surface tablets. Driving the Windows 8 bus like Google did with the Nexus line of phones and tablets.

Announced this evening Nokia is selling off their Devices and Services business to Microsoft for 5.44 billion Euro, with Nokia expected to gain 3.2 billion on the sale if it’s approved in 2014 by Nokia shareholders. Nokia will focus on networking infrastructure, developing their HERE platform of navigation solutions, and “Advanced Technologies”. Plus they’ll have a war chest of patents to profit off of.

Microsoft gains an incredible hardware development platform out of this transfer, responsible for the most compelling Windows Phone 8 hardware in the ecosystem. Plus they’ll receive a ten year grace on Nokia’s patent collection while becoming a “strategic licensee” of HERE solutions.

This is a very interesting development. Nokia has been struggling to gain traction with high end premier smartphones, but was finding some success in mid-range and low end hardware. It remains to be seen if Microsoft will be as interested in that segment of the market, and if they’ll continue pushing forward into developing markets with Asha devices and other low end solutions.

More commentary and analysis as this develops!


Microsoft is already speaking out, making it clear they will be absorbing 32,000 Nokia employees. They will also be continuing support and development of the Asha platform. They’ll be setting up a new data center in Finland to facilitate the transfer, and that at the end of the sale Nokia executives will also transfer over to Microsoft including Mr. Stephen Elop.

Nokia will hold a press conference September 3rd at 11 a.m. EEST – http://press.nokia.com/

The Next Chapter: An Open Letter From Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop

Ralph de la Vega, president & CEO, AT&T Mobility weighed in on the sale:

“Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset business will help strengthen the Windows Phone ecosystem.  It underscores how the future of mobile computing will be software-driven and cloud-based, further taking advantage of high-speed mobile networks to transform how we live and work.”

Hit the jump for Microsoft’s official press release:

Continue reading “Updated: Nokia selling Devices & Services to Microsoft for 5.4 Billion Euro”