Sprint contests AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA, as supply delays from Japan hit European automakers

Sprint contests AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA, as supply delays from Japan hit European automakers

Sprint alleged that AT&T’s $39-billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA will create an anticompetitive duopoly in the US wireless market. AT&T’s record acquisition will become final only if approved by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commissions. “If approved, the proposed acquisition would create a combined company that would be almost three times the size of Sprint in terms of wireless revenue and would entrench AT&T’s and Verizon’s duopoly control over the wireless market,” Sprint announced in a letter to Congress.

Lingering delays from factories in Japan will cause European automakers further delays in production in the months ahead. Many European OEMs rely on Japan for semiconductors and infotainment systems. As many as 40 auto-parts makers in Japan are still struggling to reboot operations after the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Peugeot announced that some Peugeot and Citroen models will decrease by 60 percent in the coming weeks.

Latvia became the 21st European member state to sign the eCall Memorandum of Understanding. With its signature, Latvia commits itself to support the timely implementation of eCall, the pan-European accident notification system. In the event of a serious car accident, the eCall system automatically dials 112 and calls the nearest emergency center.

GE Capital Fleet Services launched a new mobile app, U.S. Fuel Price Mapping. The app is part of GE’s mobile fleet platform and aims to reduce fueling costs by delivering accurate fuel rates and easy routing to nearby stations. Drivers enter their location, search radius, and required fuel type, and the app delivers five locations with the lowest fuel price options and directions to each.

INRIX announced a partnership with Viasuisse, the leading provider of traffic information in Switzerland. INRIX will integrate Viasuisse’s real-time traffic incident data into its traffic products and partner with the firm to further develop premium traffic flow information for Switzerland. INRIX also announced a similar partnership with Infoblu, a local traffic provider in Italy.

Navmii launched Navmii GPS Live, its turn-by-turn navigation software for the iPhone, in the U.K. and Ireland. The app will cost £2.99 from the iTunes store. Drivers can search for an address by city, street, or postcode and get instantly routed with voiced directions. Navmii has more than 1.5 million downloads to date and is active in 16 countries in Europe.

aisle411 partnered with Location Labs to integrate geofencing into its retail navigation and social shopping solution. The aisle411 app lets shoppers find products and promotions quickly and easily in retail stores. The geofencing feature will enable users to receive real-time alerts on available coupons and access to store navigation when approaching a store in the aisle411 system.

Panasonic announced that the newest member of its LUMIX Series of digital cameras will include NAVTEQ map and location content. This will enable cameras and camcorders to geotag photos and images directly to POI data from the NAVTEQ map. The ultimate goal is to leverage location data to make it easier to share photographs with family and friends and to pinpoint where photos were shot.

A survey found that most drivers consider their GPS navigation systems “untrustworthy” and “inaccurate.” The survey was conducted by the insurance company Swinton and included 3,000 participants in the UK. A third of those participants said their GPS systems had led them one to five miles off course, and more than 50 percent confessed that their sat navs had led to an argument or fight with a passenger. The survey concluded that men are more likely to ignore directions from a GPS navigation system than women, but only marginally. Eighty-three percent of male drivers regularly disobey routing directions, whereas 75 percent of women go their own way.

Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to TU.

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