First Verizon snubbed AT&T’s 3G coverage in a snarky “There’s A Map for That” advertisement. Then they called the iPhone a Misfit Toy thanks to AT&T’s spotty 3G network. AT&T got hysterical about it, going to court to get the “false and misleading” ads removed from the air. Verizon’s breezy response: “The Truth Hurts.”
Now it looks like the little purse fight between the nation’s two largest cell providers is at an end: both Verizon and AT&T filed for an official dismissal of the case in an Atlanta federal court yesterday. Verizon also asked for their counter-suit against AT&T to be dismissed.
In truth, that’s the only thing that makes sense: AT&T already had its request to have Verizon’s advertisements pulled denied by a judge, so the battle was pretty much moot at this point. AT&T’s case was also weak: although they claimed Verizon’s advertisements could be construed as referring to all their voice and data connections, the actual ad was pretty clear that it was specifying geographic 3G coverage.
Basically, Verizon touched a sore spot, and AT&T overreacted. It happens. But it doesn’t make sense to get in an advertising arms race about network coverage: with the holidays quickly approaching, neither company wants the airwaves to be choked with vocal criticisms of their services, which is where this all was going. They want it to be about the phones people will be giving and receiving at the end of the month, and both AT&T (with the iPhone) and Verizon (with the Motorola Droid) have great ones that deserve showcasing.
It sounds like Verizon and AT&T reached some sort of gentleman’s agreement and decided to play nice for now about each other’s coverage. Fantastic news, if only because all of this AT&T and Verizon squabbling was getting tedious.