Last month, Reuters reported that T-Mobile was asking the small operators that resell T-Mobile's excess network capacity to write letters and opinion pieces in support of the company's proposed $36 billion merger with Sprint. T-Mobile's request wasn't unusual. Trumping up support for deals that aren't actually in the public interest is common practice in the swamp we know as U.S. telecom policy. When Comcast was working on its merger with NBCU at the beginning of this decade, supportive comments poured into the FCC from companies across the country who had an interest in keeping Comcast happy. By helpfully suggesting talking points to resellers—or MVNOs, for Mobile Virtual Network Operators—including Mint Mobile, Republic Wireless, and Ting, all of which lease access from the Big Four network operators (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) in order to sell phone and data services to customers, T-Mobile is following the usual "air of inevitability" merger playbook. … [Read more...] about Why an Army of Small Companies Is Defending The Sprint/T-Mobile Merger
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At first, Element Electronics threw its support behind the Trump administration's tariffs on Chinese goods. The South Carolina company, the only mass assembler of televisions in America, said proposed penalties on imported TVs would finally help it compete against cheaper models from China. Then the Trump administration expanded its planned tariffs and targeted TV parts, rather than fully assembled sets. Now the company is on the verge of shutting its US operations, unless some powerful allies in Washington intervene. "I can't believe the US government's intention is to shut down our South Carolina facility," David Baer, Element's general counsel, told a government panel Tuesday, referring to the administration's potential tariffs. "That makes no sense. The only logical explanation is ... [it] must be a mistake and is a result that the administration did not realize." Element has already told the state that it intends to lay off 126 employees — almost all the workers at … [Read more...] about This small company liked Trump’s tariffs. Now it’s fighting to keep its factory open
Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff June 25, 2018 Diane Salvatore fears the US Supreme Court may have just put her out of business.She runs an online store that sells autographed copies of books by her husband, best-selling fantasy author R.A. Salvatore. The business grossed about $30,000 last year.But now the Leominster couple face having to collect sales taxes on their customers outside of Massachusetts, following the high court’s ruling last week in a case involving Boston retailer Wayfair and the state of South Dakota. Salvatore said she could not afford the software and paperwork required for collecting and sending taxes to literally thousands of state and local governments that have sales taxes. Advertisement “I don’t make enough money to support that kind of recordkeeping,” she said. And Salvatore predicted that many other small businesses … [Read more...] about For small online firms, the tax bill comes due
When it comes to father-son relationships, Ross Sr. and Ross Jr. are about at tight as it gets.Neither one likes the "H. thing.”Fortune magazine added the first initial of Henry to Ross Perot when it put Senior on its cover after he took EDS public in 1968. “The media took to it, and it stuck,” says the son. “When EDS went public, that’s when the world first heard of Ross Perot. We had a family dinner the night before. Dad said, ‘Now tomorrow we’re going to take EDS public, and a lot of people are going to write about the money that we have. But remember, none of this is important. The only thing that’s important is our family and how we take care and respect each other.“That’s the first time we ever had a money conversation in the family. “Then we watched Dad become the Bill Gates of the ’60s. As I tell the children, Fortune said he was 'the fastest, richest Texan ever.' ”Déjà vu … [Read more...] about Can the Perot magic work again for a small Plano IT company?
Ah, patent trolls – the representation of everything that is wrong with today's patent system. From a device that is supposed to safeguard intellectual property from theft, the system has now turned into a pool of endless bickering over who came up with what first. Large manufacturers use it as a tool to slow down an opponent's distribution, while some smaller fish use it to extort an extra buck from other small businesses.The latter are called Patent Assertion Entities (PAE), or – as everybody calls them – patent trolls. These are organizations created with the sole purpose of patenting any sort of relevant technology that they can come up with, then sit on said patents until somebody creates something, which remotely resembles whatever the troll has on paper. Once that happens – the PAE starts threatening legal action, but immediately proposes a settlement as well, leaning on the belief that small companies would rather pay a settlement fee, than drag a case … [Read more...] about Patent troll tries to claim ownership of a screen rotation patent, gets slapped around by a small company