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AT&T completes $1.2B acquisition of Leap Wireless

AT&T announced late Thursday that it had completed its $1.2 billion acquisition of prepaid wireless provider Leap Wireless and the Cricket brand.

The deal, announced last July, was granted approval earlier Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission. Because the US Justice Department did not raise any antitrust objections, the carrier closed the deal Thursday afternoon after receiving the FCC's blessing.

While the FCC said it had concerns about the deal's impact on competition, the commission said those concerns were mitigated by AT&T's plans to deploy LTE service on used Leap spectrum and … Read more

AT&T wins FCC approval of $1.2B deal for Leap Wireless

AT&T's $1.2 billion acquisition of prepaid wireless provider Leap Wireless and the Cricket brand won the approval of the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday.

The deal, announced last July, now needs only the approval of the US Justice Department to be completed. The wireless giant has agreed to pay $15 a share in cash for Leap's wireless network, which covers about 96 million people in 35 states.

While the FCC said it had concerns about the deal's impact on competition, the commission said those concerns were mitigated by AT&T's plans to … Read more

AT&T throws cold water on European acquisitions

AT&T appears to be shifting its focus back to the US rather than expand into Europe.

That's according to AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens, who was speaking at an investor conference on Wednesday. The event was Webcast.

"We're seeing the window of opportunity in owning assets is closing," Stephens said.

AT&T was reportedly interested in Vodafone, but in January said it didn't intend to make an offer. Still, the company opened the door to it, saying it reserved the right to make an offer at another time. As … Read more

Amazon may soon unveil its Web TV box

CNET Update is coming soon to an Amazon box near you:

In this episode of Update:

- Speculate over the latest buzz about Amazon's mystery TV box for streaming video. Could it also stream video games?

- Manage YouTube playlists easier with the recent site redesign.

- Send cute stickers to the one friend that still uses BlackBerry Messenger.

- Test Xbox One software for bugs before updates are released.

- Get better coverage on Sprint if you're one of the few to try out Wi-Fi calling.

- Require selfies for entry to your next event with the … Read more

Finally, an actual use for a selfie

It was a small step for mankind to go from self-love to selfie-love.

With its eyes prised wide by the sight of a camera on a phone, humanity suddenly realized it could not only record itself, but send the evidence to everyone who wasn't interested.

In the end, though, selfies were all about you. Until now. For along has come a company called TicketLeap to introduce a radical use for the selfie.

It's called the Selfie Ticket. And its purpose is to replace the QR code on event tickets with an image of you.

Yes, now beauty can … Read more

AT&T CEO vows to 'shake up' no-contract wireless with Cricket

AT&T believes the acquisition of Leap Wireless and the Cricket brand will give it a shot in the arm in the pre-paid wireless arena.

At least, that's what AT&T Randall Stephenson believes. On a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, Stephenson teased big things on the no-contract front once AT&T completes its acquisition of Leap Wireless, which is expected later this quarter. Leap operates its prepaid business under the Cricket name.

"With the Cricket brand on top of AT&T, you can expect us to be disruptive in the no-contract space,&… Read more

HP embeds Leap Motion gesture control tech in 11 computers

Leap Motion announced Thursday that Hewlett-Packard is embedding its gesture control technology in 11 new computers.

In a blog post, Leap Motion -- which developed a system designed to enable users to control their computers with hand gestures alone, with accuracy down to a hundredth of a millimeter -- said that HP is integrating its technology into 11 desktop and all-in-one machines.

In September, HP said it was incorporating Leap Motion's tech into the Envy 17 laptop, making it the first manufacturer to build the system directly into a computer. This time around, however, HP is embedding the system … Read more

How Leap Motion tracks what it can't see

Leap Motion, makers of the matchbox-sized motion tracker that launched back in July, has gone even further in its efforts to make interacting with computers in open space as accurate and powerful as possible. An upcoming software upgrade announced Wednesday will allow any Leap Motion device to perform far more precise tracking by viewing one's hand as a whole object without needing to see its every move, allowing for new and more accurate forms of interaction.

The upgrade, which has been in the works for about a year and marks the first substantial overhaul to the device's software, … Read more

AT&T can't hang on to its feature phone customers

AT&T is feeling the heat on the low end.

Chief Financial Officer John Stephens, speaking on a conference call on Wednesday, acknowledged that the company was facing pressure on the feature phone side of the business, with many price-sensitive customers looking for alternatives.

It's tough to determine how many feature phone customers have left the carrier, as AT&T didn't break it out. In total, AT&T added 363,000 net new contract customers, but 388,000 came from tablets and 178,000 came from smartphones, suggesting a large loss of feature phone customers … Read more

Cricket to sell iPhone 5S, 5C starting Oct. 25

Prepaid carrier Cricket next week will become the latest wireless carrier to offer Apple's iPhone 5S and 5C.

Cricket Communications, which is owned by Leap Wireless and is about to be purchased by AT&T, will offer Apple's newest smartphones to its customers starting October 25, Cricket said Monday. Customers can preregister their interest at Mycricket.com/register.

It's unclear how much the phones will cost through Cricket, which offers service to customers without contracts. Prepaid customers typically pay full price for a device unless the carrier offers some sort of promotion. The iPhone iPhone 5SRead more