T-Mobile USA isn't a fan of the new free WiFi promotion from AT&T and Starbucks. The carrier, which has offered paid WiFi access to Starbucks customers for the past seven years, filed a lawsuit against Starbucks accusing it of breach of contract because it's allowing AT&T to provide customers with free WiFi access in its cafes. The AT&T promotion provides two hours of free WiFi to Starbucks customers who purchase a Starbucks Reward Card with a minimum of $5 credit on it. Customers must use their Starbucks Card at least once a month.
Starbucks announced in February it was ending its exclusive relationship with T-Mobile in favor of a new deal with AT&T and the transition is under way. In the complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court, T-Mobile says the coffee maker secretly devised the promotion with AT&T to provide free WiFi in its stores even though T-Mobile still has the right to exclusively sell and promote its WiFi service in Starbucks until the transition to AT&T is complete. Currently only two Starbucks stores have made the transition, the lawsuit says.
- See this CNET story.