Internet Radio Fairness Coalition: Organizations and companies lobbying to pass a bill backed by online music service Pandora announced that they have formed a new coalition to urge Congress to pass two bills known as the Internet Radio Fairness Act.
The bills, which have been introduced in the House and Senate, call for all music providers — including Internet radio companies — to be put under the same rate-setting standard.
Members of the coalition include the Consumer Electronics Association, Computer and Communication Industry Association and, of course, Pandora.
A competing bill has been introduced to the measure, the Hill reported, that would put cable, satellite and Internet radio stations on the same royalty-setting standard.
Sprint earnings: Sprint reported weak earnings Thursday, showing that the company had lost subscribers and extended losses to $767 million, the Associated Press reported.
Sprint recently announced a deal to sell 70 percent of itself to the Japanese carrier Softbank — an infusion of cash that chief executive Dan Hesse said will help the company as it makes over its network.
Huawei: Reuters reported that Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications firm, once offered to sell embargoed U.S. technology to an Iranian mobile phone operator through a partner company. Huawei has denied breaking U.S. sanctions in the past; the report said that the deal was offered through Soda Gostar Persian Vista, a Huawei supplier in Tehran. The deal was subsequently canceled and the equipment was replaced with technology from a German company.
Huawei spokesman Vic Guyang told Reuters: “We did not participate in the delivery of this project because Huawei has been and continues to be in strict compliance with all relevant international and local laws and regulations.”
ITC rules on Samsung, Apple: The International Trade Commission has ruled that Samsung has infringed on four Apple patents dealing with multitouch, audio and display technologies.
If administrative law judge Thomas Pender’s ruling Wednesday is upheld, the U.S. may ban those products from import. The judge’s decision is subject to review by the full ITC commission.
The ruling is another major point in Apple’s favor as the company battles its top smartphone rival in courts around the world. Apple won more than $1 billion in damages in August after a jury in California found that Samsung had infringed on the patents applied to the iPhone. Apple has, however, also lost patent cases in courts outside the United States.
Microsoft makes final Windows 8 pitch: Microsoft held a big party for itself in New York City on Thursday ahead of the U.S. launch of its Windows 8 operating system and Surface tablet.
The event, which the company opted to stream over the Web, was meant to give consumers one last look at Microsoft’s products — as well as PCs and tablets from partner companies such as Asus and Dell — ahead of their big retail debut Friday.
Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer also took to the stage to give his final pitch to consumers and drive home the fact that Microsoft is shifting to become a devices and services company.
“You can imagine what your own Windows 8 device will look like and how incredibly personal it will be,” he said.