FRONTLINE WIRELESS has reportedly shutdown operations following a failed attempt to bid in the upcoming wireless spectrum auction. The company missed Thursday’s deadline for submitting the $128 million auction deposit after being unable to acquire funding. A company spokesperson released a statement saying “Frontline is closed for business at this time. We have no further comment.”
KEVIN MARTIN said the date for the transition to all-digital broadcasts is a “hard date” with no chance for delay. Speaking at a CES Q&A the FCC Chairman also revealed that the Commission is investigating Comcast for recent findings that the service provider intentionally throttles Internet connections. The FCC itself is now under a formal investigation that was launched yesterday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It seeks to address complaints about Martin’s leadership and the internal workings of the Commission.
THE DATAPORTABILITY WORKGROUP received a major boost yesterday when Facebook, Google and Plaxo all announced plans to join. In doing so the companies are committing to open standards and interoperability for online data. In related news, Google, IBM and VeriSign are reportedly in talks to join OpenID, the foundation dedicated to creating a single login and password for users across as many online services as possible.
GOLDEN GLOBES sponsors have begun to withdraw from the stripped-down “news conference” version of the awards ceremony. Overall, the debacle will cost NBC between $10 million and $15 million. Meanwhile, fear is mounting that the Oscars will face a similar fate — putting ABC’s $80 million payday for the broadcast in peril. In other strike news, Jon Stewart derided the Writers Guild on-air for not cutting a deal with him, even though he had convinced Viacom to sign-off on it. The WGA affirmed that it will not negotiate with individual shows.
MICROSOFT has bid $1.2 billion for Fast Search and Transfer, a Norwegian company that creates software to search internal corporate data. Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft’s business division, says the acquisition will make Microsoft “the clear leader in enterprise search.” Analysts believe that the acquired technology could also help Microsoft compete with Google in the consumer search market.
VIACOM announced online syndication deals with Veoh, Dailymotion, iMeem, MeeVee and GoFish. Content from Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and other Viacom properties will soon be available on the video sites.
SPRINT confirmed an April launch for its WiMax service and unveiled prototype devices that connect to the network.