AT&T Sues Verizon Over Ads Claiming Coverage Gaps


     ATLANTA (CN) – AT&T wants Verizon enjoined from broadcasting commercials that claim AT&T cell phone customers are left “out of touch” because of gaps in coverage. Verizon began its national ad campaign in October, using maps that purport to show great coverage for Verizon but blank spots where AT&T customers are supposedly out of touch.




     AT&T says the ads – on TV, radio and print – are false and deceptive.
     Both companies tout their “3G” (third generation) networks. The 3G coverage supposedly increases the speed of data transmission, uploads and downloads on wireless devices.
     In its TV and print ads, Verizon shows a purported 3G coverage map for AT&T with big blank spots pushing the misleading message that AT&T customers there are “out of touch,” according to the complaint.
     AT&T says it contacted Verizon Wireless and asked it to pull the misleading ads, and Verizon responded by removing the term “out of touch” and superimposing the phrase “Voice & data services available outside 3G coverage areas” in small font at the end of the ads.
     AT&T says its customers in those areas do receive coverage, albeit from a different network, which, AT&S adds, supports the “hugely popular iPhone.”
     AT&T says Verizon’s ads, called “There’s a map for that,” are a misleading response to Apple’s iPhone campaign stating, “There’s an app (application) for that.”
     Apple and AT&T teamed up to introduce the iPhone, whose introduction spurred a series of previous lawsuits, which claimed the networks were not ready for the huge demand created by the new phone.
     AT&T wants the allegedly deceptive map enjoined and treble damages for deceptive trade. It is represented in Federal Court by David Balser with McKenna Long & Aldridge.

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