Democrats want to take another look at the T-Mobile-Sprint merger

Democrats want to take another look at the T-Mobile-Sprint merger


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T-Mobile’s planned purchase of Sprint is facing new and intense scrutiny from the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. The executives of the two companies will sit before two congressional hearings this week — House Committee on Energy and Commerce took up the topic on Wednesday and the House Committee on the Judiciary will question the company heads on Thursday.

In the ten months since T-Mobile first announced its intention to buy up its competitor, the company has cozied up to the Trump administration. The company’s executives spent more than 50 nights at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. T-Mobile CEO John Legere spent two night in the hotel and paid a rate of $2,246 per night, according to the Washington Post. That activity is likely to be viewed as an attempt to buy favor with the president and will come up during this week’s hearings.

The hearings this week won’t have a direct influence on the government’s decision on whether to allow the purchase to go forward or not. The Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission get to approve or deny the merger based on their own investigations that will look into antitrust concerns and other potential harms. However, the hearings may turn up new information that would give regulators pause. Legere told investors last week that he believes the merger will be completed by June.

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US regulators approve BMW-Daimler services merger

US regulators approve BMW-Daimler services merger


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BMW and Daimler’s plan to combine their transportation services, including car sharing, ride hailing and electric vehicle charging, is a step closer to reality after US antitrust officials approved the partnership. The companies hope to close the deal by January 31st, and plan to reveal more details of their joint venture by the end of March.

The new company will merge the automakers’ various transportation efforts, including Car2Go and DriveNow on the car sharing front and the mytaxi, Chauffeur Privé, Clever Taxi and Beat ride hailing services. Daimler and BMW, who will continue to make their own cars separately, also plan to combine their parking and on-demand mobility businesses as they try to keep pace in an evolving transportation ecosystem.

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AKG N700NC review: Sony and Bose headphones get some serious competition

AKG N700NC review: Sony and Bose headphones get some serious competition

Here’s some merger and acquisition news you may have missed: two years ago, Samsung bought audio brand Harman Kardon. Harman had previously bought AKG, the Austrian audio company known primarily for headphones and mics. That makes Samsung the parent company of AKG, which is part of the reason why Galaxy smartphones now ship with AKG earphones.

The AKG N700NC isn’t a Samsung headphone per se, but it marks the company’s entry into the highly competitive premium noise-canceling headphone arena. This is where you’ll find such models as the Bose QuietComfort 35 IISony WH-1000XM3Beats Studio3 Wireless, Microsoft Surface Headphones and Sennheiser PXC 550. All these headphones, including the AKG N700NC, carry a list price of $350. (The N700NC costs £309 in the UK. It isn’t yet available in Australia, where that would convert to about AU$540.)

The AKG N700NC costs the same as other premium noise-canceling headphones.


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The N700NC is a worthy contender. For starters it sounds excellent. It’s right up there with the Sony in terms of sound quality, which is saying a lot. With memory foam earcups, it’s comfortable, although not quite as comfortable as the Sony or the Bose. It’s also slightly heavier, weighing in at 9.2 ounces (261 grams; the Bose is the lightest at 235 grams).

Despite the fact that the headphone is mostly plastic, the build quality seems good. There’s a metal hinge and the headphone both folds up and folds flat. I thought the way the headphones folded onto their side made the case a little too bulky.

There’s adequate padding at the top of the headband, with a strip of Ultrasuede material that’s similar to what you’ll find on the Bose headband. The headphones don’t put too much pressure on the crown of your head though they do fit a little snugly.

Some headphones, such as those from Sony and Microsoft, have touch controls. This AKG does not. The track and volume control are on the left earcup. Hold down the volume up to advance a track forward; hold down the volume down button to go back a track. The small pause/play button between the volume buttons also doubles as an answer/end button for calls and enables your voice assistant (Siri or Google Assistant) when you double tap it. 

My only complaint would be that that the buttons are a little small and sometimes I had to run my finger over them a couple of times to make sure I was pressing the right button.

On the right earcup is a power button along with the “Smart Ambient” button. Via the AKG app (for Android and iOS) you can assign the button to activate an “Ambient Aware” mode, which turns off noise canceling and lets sound into the headphones, or a “TalkThru” mode. The latter mode mutes whatever you’re listening to, turns on Ambient Aware and lets you talk to someone while wearing the headphones. It would be useful if you were on a plane and wanted to talk to a flight attendant without taking your headphones off.

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FCC presses pause on review of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger

FCC presses pause on review of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger

The FCC just announced it’s “pausing the Commission’s informal 180-day transaction shot clock” on the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. The reasoning for this apparently comes from material submitted only recently by the companies, that break down…

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Sinclair countersues Tribune Media after failed acquisition

Sinclair countersues Tribune Media after failed acquisition

Looks like we won’t be hearing the end of that Sinclair and Tribune Media drama anytime soon, even though the merger is no longer happening. Sinclair is now counter-suing Tribune Media, accusing the company of trying to profit off of an unfortunate t…

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FCC investigator says Pai didn’t give Sinclair preferential treatment

FCC investigator says Pai didn’t give Sinclair preferential treatment

More than a few people thought FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was acting suspiciously ahead of the failed Sinclair-Tribune merger. The regulator’s Office of the Inspector General, however, would beg to differ. The watchdog has published a report determining…

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Tribune ends Sinclair merger bid and files suit over losses

Tribune ends Sinclair merger bid and files suit over losses,

Today, Tribune Media announced that it is no longer interested in Sinclair’s $3.9 billion takeover. Furthermore, the company is filing suit against Sinclair for breach of contract, which asks for compensation for all of Tribune’s losses as a result o…

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New York kicks Spectrum out of the state for ‘recurring failures’

New York kicks Spectrum out of the state for ‘recurring failures’

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Charter cable company acquired Time Warner Cable in a 2016 merger, becoming one of the largest TV providers in the country. Re-branded as Spectrum, the company introduced a streaming option last year. New York, however, hasn’t been impressed with the…

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Disney and Fox’s $71.3 billion merger gets shareholder approval

Disney and Fox’s $71.3 billion merger gets shareholder approval

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Now that Comcast has withdrawn from the bidding war, Disney is free to proceed with acquiring most of 21st Century Fox’s assets. Shareholders for both companies just approved a $71.3 billion buyout, a larger figure than either of the suitor companies…

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FCC opens public comments on T-Mobile-Sprint merger

FCC opens public comments on T-Mobile-Sprint merger,

If you have a strong opinion on the proposed $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, now’s your chance to tell the FCC exactly what you think of the plan. The agency is accepting comments as well as formal petitions to deny the merger until August…

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FCC vote likely dooms Sinclair-Tribune merger

FCC vote likely dooms Sinclair-Tribune merger,

The FCC has voted to send the proposed sale of Tribune Media properties to Sinclair to a hearing, effectively hammering the second-to-last nail in the coffin on the buyout. The agency’s commissioners unanimously agreed on a Hearing Designation Order…

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FCC has ‘serious concerns’ about Sinclair merger it helped engineer

FCC has ‘serious concerns’ about Sinclair merger it helped engineer

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Sinclair’s attempt to buy Tribune Media has raised many concerns in the past year, and not just among advocates concerned about its partisan message and potential for media dominance. The broadcasting giant has revamped its deal several times in a bi…

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A Merger of Stars

A Merger of Stars,

Launched 15 years ago, the Spitzer Space Telescope has made many discoveries, including this detection of the merger of two neutron stars.

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Justice Department appeals approval of Time Warner-AT&T merger

Justice Department appeals approval of Time Warner-AT&T merger

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Just when we thought the AT&T–Time Warner merger was finally a done deal when a judge ruled in its favor last month, it seems not everyone will accept it. The Justice Department is reportedly set to appeal the approval, according to a court docu…

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T-Mobile and Sprint pitch FCC on the merits of their merger

T-Mobile and Sprint pitch FCC on the merits of their merger,

You’ve heard T-Mobile and Sprint try to sell you on their proposed merger, but it’s now regulators’ turn to get an earful. The two carriers have submitted their Public Interest Statement to the FCC outlining the claimed benefits of the union, and it…

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