Dear God: Comcast To Consider Partnering With Ticketmaster

Dear God: Comcast To Consider Partnering With Ticketmaster

When you read about the proposed Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger, you might have thought to yourself, “Sure, this would be a merger between the world’s largest ticketing company and the largest concert promoter, but I think it could be more horrifying.” Comcast apparently agrees, as they’re considering getting in on the merger.

FCC Asks Apple, AT&T To Explain Why They Rejected Google Voice App

FCC Asks Apple, AT&T To Explain Why They Rejected Google Voice App

Apple (and AT&T) may have finally pushed too far with this week’s rejection of the Google Voice App from the iPhone App Store, for no reason other than it “duplicated functionality” already offered—for a price—by AT&T. According to mocoNews, the FCC has asked Apple and AT&T to provide answers about how apps are approved, why they’re denied, and particularly how much say AT&T has over things iPhone-related.

That Wily Scoundrel John Madden Has Robbed Gamers Of $1 Billion, Economist Says

That Wily Scoundrel John Madden Has Robbed Gamers Of $1 Billion, Economist Says

Economist Jeffrey MacKie-Mason says Electronic Arts’ NFL monopoly has cost gamers $926 million over the last four years. Because the game publisher has an exclusive deal with the NFL to use teams, stadiums and player likenesses, no competitor can line up on level ground, and thus EA can charge $60 for its Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game every year, GamePolitics reports:

T-Mobile's Backdoor Exclusivity Prevents You From Using Old Phone With AT&T

T-Mobile's Backdoor Exclusivity Prevents You From Using Old Phone With AT&T

Reader Greg accidentally ran his iPhone through the washing machine. Whoops. Luckily, he still had his old BlackBerry from his days with T-Mobile, so he swapped in his AT&T SIM card to the BlackBerry and fired it up. Unfortunately, his BlackBerry was still locked by T-Mobile, and they didn’t feel like helping a former customer.

Get The Best Seat When Flying Coach

Get The Best Seat When Flying Coach

Snagging the best plane seat doesn’t always require an upgrade, thanks to a few handy tips from Condé Nast Traveler. Inside, how to avoid the dreaded middle seat and keep yourself entertained on the flight…

Southwest Is Coming To LaGuardia. Hello, Price War!

Southwest Is Coming To LaGuardia. Hello, Price War!

Starting tomorrow, Southwest will fly out of New York‘s LaGuardia airport, which hopefully means that flying between New York, Boston, Chicago, and Washington is about to get a whole lot cheaper.

Are Cellphone Exclusivity Deals Bad For Consumers?

Are Cellphone Exclusivity Deals Bad For Consumers?

Yesterday, four U.S. Senators sent a letter to FCC acting chairman Michael Copps requesting an investigation into whether exclusivity deals between handset makers and national carriers are ultimately good for consumers, and they plan to hold a hearing on the issue on Wednesday, June 16th. They join a growing number of people and organizations, including the Rural Cellular Association (RCA), who say exclusivity deals benefit no one but the carriers and manufacturers.

El Pollo Loco Says It Will Honor Your Broken KFC Coupons On Mother's Day

El Pollo Loco Says It Will Honor Your Broken KFC Coupons On Mother's Day

Bill just emailed us with a link to this tweet from the El Pollo Loco rep on Twitter. Might be worth a shot if you were turned away by your local KFC yesterday and you think a free chicken meal is the perfect way to say “I love you” in motherese.

Fine Art Friday: Burger King Gives Ronald McDonald A Beatdown

Fine Art Friday: Burger King Gives Ronald McDonald A Beatdown

Either this Burger King in Miami takes the competition really, really seriously, or the owner is into some pretty freaky s#@t. The store gets bonus absurdity points for framing it so handsomely.

Time Warner Cable Cannot Possibly Compete With The Small City Of Wilson, NC

Time Warner Cable Cannot Possibly Compete With The Small City Of Wilson, NC

The city of Wilson, NC was tired of high internet, cable, and telephone prices, so they decided to do something about it. They started their own, city-owned, ISP. Now Time Warner Cable and Embarq have teamed up to convince North Carolina‘s legislature to propose bills outlawing community owned ISPs because the big guys cannot possibly compete.

Why Apple's New iPod Shuffle Isn't Consumer Friendly

Why Apple's New iPod Shuffle Isn't Consumer Friendly

Update: It turns out the special chips used in the headphone controls of the third generation Shuffle don’t contain any DRM after all, so any attempts at reverse-engineering won’t bring on the wrath of the DMCA.

Hertz To Compete With Zipcar For Hourly Car Rentals

Hertz To Compete With Zipcar For Hourly Car Rentals

Hertz is rolling out an hourly rental car service like Zipcar’s called “Connect,” starting in New York City, Park Ridge, N.J, London and Paris. Best of all, no dealing with counter staff. [NYT] (Photo: Marike79)

California Declares Free Market Broken, Recommends Price Controls For Phone Services

California Declares Free Market Broken, Recommends Price Controls For Phone Services

“There is no indication of any change in the near future regarding the current state of competition. Market forces have not yet met the challenge of controlling price increases.”

FCC Approves Sirius-XM Merger

FCC Approves Sirius-XM Merger

Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of Sirius-XM. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new anti-consumer practices. To seek out new revenue streams and crowd out new competitors. To boldly safeguard the dangerous monopoly granted last night by the FCC.

Cable: The Worst Deal Of The Decade

Cable: The Worst Deal Of The Decade

The price of everything in the telecom world has fallen over the past decade, except for cable. Cable is now 77% more expensive than it was ten years ago, an increase that dwarfs the rate of inflation and makes telecom executives salivate. The Times looks with pity on all of us who splay our wallets wide for the industry, and asks if there’s any salvation other than à la carte pricing.

L.A. County Tells Taco Trucks To Keep Moving

L.A. County Tells Taco Trucks To Keep Moving

Peter writes to let us know that taco trucks in Los Angeles county now have to move to a new position every hour: “The county of Los Angeles has enacted some new legislation to prevent taco truck owners from staying in one spot, with penalties of a fine of up to $1000 or jail for failures to comply.” Why such a weird law? Because area restaurants say they’re stealing away customers. If you like your carne asada from the side of a truck, be prepared to start chasing them down as they circle through L.A. county in a weird Mexican-food carousel.

XM-Sirius Merger Will Double Monthly Prices?

XM-Sirius Merger Will Double Monthly Prices?

What does the XM-Sirius satellite radio merger mean for XM customers? Well, according to one customer service rep, it means mean prices are going to roughly double in May. Here’s what she said to one of our tipsters:

This is strictly confidential, but all the paperwork is signed and ready to go, and XM has fully acquired Sirius Radio. Come May, there will be a substantial price increase for XM Radio, as it will, in June or so, host all the Sirius channels. It would be best to simply extend your XM plan as we will honor your current contract price per month before we begin hosting the Sirius stations.

The tipster said he believed she said the price was going to double. Perhaps the customer service rep just wanted to score a renewal, but if true, it would certainly at least be ironic considering when the DOJ approved the deal was they said, “the evidence did not show that the merger would enable the parties to profitably increase prices to satellite radio customers.” However, reader comments on this post and this post over at Orbitcast say this customer service rep is full of pure baloney.

http://consumerist.com/2008/03/25/the-doj-has-approved-a/

The DOJ has approved a merger between Sirius and XM satellite radio, ruling that there wasn’t enough evidence to show that it would result in higher prices for consumers. We’ll see. [OrbitCast]