AT&T, Verizon Agree to Stop Suing Each Other
AT&T and Verizon today agreed to drop the lawsuits
they've been pursuing against each other over advertising claims. The US District Court in Atlanta dismissed AT&T's suit hoping to block Verizon's "there's a map for that" ads, and the US District Court for the Southern District of New York closed an earlier Verizon complaint that would have shut down AT&T's criticisms of its "most reliable" claims. Both cases were dismissed without prejudice so either company can sue the other one again, at any time.
AT&T's lawsuit accused Verizon of misleading advertising when they showed a map that only displays 3G coverage. AT&T said this left the impression that AT&T service works only in those areas, which is a small subset of its total coverage. Verizon's response said that the ads made it clear that the maps only showed 3G coverage, but AT&T had sued to have the ads blocked while the trial was going on. US District Judge Timothy Batten denied AT&T’s request, saying that while the ads might be “sneaky” or “clever,” they are “literally true.” Meanwhile, Verizon came out with new ads that suggested the iPhone was limited by AT&T's smaller 3G coverage and poor service quality.
Neither AT&T nor Verizon has provided any reason why they're choosing to drop the lawsuit at this time. AT&T's inability to stop the ads, though, made it a losing battle for them to continue a lawsuit that, if anything, drew more attention to Verizon's argument. We'll see if the ad wars cool down or heat up as the holiday season goes into full swing.