Satellite TV Providers Sue Utah Over Higher Taxes
SALT LAKE CITY – Two satellite television providers are suing Utah for giving cable TV companies a tax break that is not available to the satellite providers.
DIRECTV and DISH Network filed the lawsuit in 8th District Court.
The satellite providers say the Utah Legislature rewarded cable TV companies in 2008 with a sales tax break because they employ more people and have to rent public rights of way to run cables. The cable companies pass along the savings to their customers.
The satellite companies acknowledge they employ few people in Utah and don’t have to pay franchise fees or property taxes because they don’t own any infrastructure in Utah. But they say it’s unconstitutional to show tax favors only for cable TV customers.
DIRECTV and DISH Network are demanding the same tax break. (AP)
Micron CEO Predicts Winnowing of Industry
BOISE, Idaho – The head of Micron Technology Inc. predicts that only two or three memory chip manufacturing companies will survive the consolidation happening now in the industry.
Chairman and CEO Steve Appleton told shareholders at Micron’s annual meeting in Boise Thursday that the chip maker’s strong balance puts it in a good position to ride out the latest drop in chip prices.
The Idaho Statesman reports the company ended fiscal 2010 with $2.9 billion in cash, up from $1.5 billion a year ago.
Appleton has said the consolidation happening in the industry could take years. There are now 11 companies in the business.
More than half of Micron’s chip manufacturing happens through joint ventures abroad, and the company has looked for more opportunities to expand. (AP)
AT&T Agrees To Acquire Wireless Spectrum From Qualcomm
DALLAS and SAN DIEGO — AT&T and Qualcomm Incorporated announced AT&T has agreed to purchase spectrum licenses in the Lower 700 MHz frequency band from Qualcomm for $1.925 billion. The move will bolster AT&T’s ability to provide an advanced 4G mobile broadband for its customers.
Qualcomm currently uses the licenses to support the service business of FLO TV Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, and the sale follows Qualcomm’s previously announced plan to evaluate strategic options for the FLO TV business. Qualcomm expects that the FLO TV business and network will be shut down in March 2011. (PRN)