Verizon stings AT&T in response to lawsuit over ads

Verizon says that pulling its advertisements that claim that AT&T Mobility's 3G wireless coverage is inferior will cause greater hardship to the public than it will to AT&T.

"AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon's 'There's A Map For That' advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon's ads are true and the truth hurts," Verizon said in a 53-page document that the carrier filed Monday in federal court in Georgia. In the filing, Verizon said the ads are truthful and there is no emergency reason for the court to issue an immediate restraining order pulling the ads until Verizon can present evidence that the ads are not misleading. In addition, the company claims that the harm to the public in pulling the ads is greater than the alleged harm being inflicted upon AT&T.

However, AT&T claims the ads do not accurately represent AT&T's coverage. The ads show maps of the two companies' 3G wireless coverage, and AT&T claims that the blank spots on the map showing AT&T's 3G coverage mislead viewers into thinking that AT&T has no service in those areas.

The filing goes even further by implying that AT&T failed to invest in the necessary infrastructure to support the data growth it has experienced thanks to the popularity of the Apple iPhone.

"AT&T seeks emergency relief because Verizon's side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of its own 3G coverage with AT&T's confirms what the marketplace has been saying for months: AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in the smartphone business, and the usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly," Verizon said. "AT&T may not like the message that the ads send, but this Court should reject its efforts to silence the messenger."

An AT&T spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For more:
- see this PC Magazine article
- see this Fortune post
- see this ZDNet  post

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