Verizon sued by AT&T over “misleading” 3G adverts

Nov 4, 2009
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Verizon sued by AT&T over “misleading” 3G adverts

AT&T's occasionally janky 3G coverage has become a generally acknowledged thorn-in-the-side for iPhone users, but the carrier still isn't pleased that arch-rival Verizon Wireless have called them on it.  Verizon's "There's a map for that" adverts compare AT&T's 3G network with their own, an act which the latter claims is "misleading" and - as you'd imagine was Verizon's intention, really - has caused them to lose "incalculable market share".  While subscribers would be happy with AT&T deciding to fill in those gaps, the carrier has taken the easier option and filed a lawsuit against Verizon.

The real issue is how Verizon have chosen to detail coverage in their mapping, focusing only on 3G areas and making no indication of non-3G areas.  That, the carrier insists, is the point of the advert - which you can see below - in that it focusses on why their network is good for high-speed data services such as streaming video.

AT&T, though, reckon that the ads have "stepped over the line of legitimate comparative advertising" by not making clear that just because their customers may not have 3G access in the white areas on the map, it doesn't mean they have no service at all.  In fact, they suggest, subscribers can "fully use their wireless devices outside of a '3G' coverage area and undisputedly have coverage in areas depicted by white or blank spaces on the maps used in Verizon's advertisements."  AT&T have called for an immediate temporary injunction on the adverts, and are seeking a permanent injunction when the case reaches trial.


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