Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


AT&T and Verizon Wireless Take Their Cat Fight to Court

80beatsBy Andrew MosemanNovember 18, 2009 5:33 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Have you seen those Verizon Wireless ads on TV, showing a map of the company's 3G network coverage next to a far less inspiring map of competitor AT&T's coverage? Those ads have now led the nation's two largest mobile provides to a court fight. Verizon's "There's a Map for That" campaign spoofs the "There's an App for That" campaign by Apple, whose iPhone uses AT&T. In response to the Verizon campaign, AT&T filed suit against Verizon in federal court.

AT&T claims the ad is misleading because it implies that AT&T customers can't use their phones and cannot access the mobile Internet in areas where the carrier does not offer 3G wireless coverage. The truth is that AT&T customers can use their phones and they are able to access the wireless Net using the company's slower EDGE network [CNET]

. In response to AT&T's initial complaint, Verizon tweaked the wording and the fine print on the ads to try to cover the company's bases. But it says it won't make further changes.

"We stand behind our advertising. If they [AT&T] have a better map, we’d certainly like to see it. It’s clearly an accurate representation of our 3G coverage” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

, a Verizon spokesperson said, and then the company lawyers submitted a bitter legal response (pdf) to the suit. In Verizon's reponse, the company says that "AT&T sued because Verizon’s ads are true and the truth hurts." Depending on a judge's interpretation, AT&T might be able to show that the ads are misleading. But that will take time.

As Verizon points out in its response, AT&T hasn't exactly shown that there's an emergency that would require the ads to come down immediately, so it seems that these ads will remain on TV for the foreseeable future [Ars Technica]

. Related Content: 80beats: Sorry, Australian iPhone Users: You've Been Rickrolled Discoblog: Can an iPhone App Decipher Your Baby's Cries? The Intersection: Droid 2.0 vs. iPhone

Image: flickr / William Hook

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 50%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In