iFive: Sprint vs. AT&T Deal, Apple Pulls “Gay Cure” App, China Snoops on Facebook?, Verizon Reveals More 4G, Google Books Woes

Welcome to the middle of the week: And here, to help you get over the hump, is iFive–our coverage of the early news.

1. Despite the fact that Verizon’s CEO revealed his company wouldn’t be appealing the union of AT&T and T-Mobile (and that he thought regulators would approve) Sprint has just revealed it will appeal to Congress to halt the telecoms deal. Its argument is that the giant company would have “tremendous” power that would hurt competition, quash innovation and ultimately be bad for consumers. Pretty much the exact list of objections you could’ve imagined they’d come up with.


2. Apple’s App Store rejection policies have often been controversial, but in the last week it’s the acceptance of an app that’s had many people in uproar: The app is a so-called “gay cure” promoter, from Christian group Exodus International which is aimed at “homosexual struggler.” Now Apple has reacted to the outcry and pulled the app from the App Store, although it’s not yet revealed which terms and conditions it considers the app to have violated.

3. For some time yesterday Net traffic between some AT&T clients and Facebook appears to have been routed through an ISP in China. For reasons as yet unknown, state-owned China Telecom’s routers became inserted in the local traffic loop inside the U.S. It could be a simple routing error, or it could be something more malicious: China’s authorities are well known for spying of all sorts, and Google recently accused China of interfering with Gmail.

4. Possibly feeling a little heat from the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile deal which would give AT&T a huge leg-up into 4G cell phone networking, Verizon’s just revealed a list of additional cities in the U.S. that’ll be getting 4G LTE coverage by the end of 2011. The bump will see 145 cities with Verizon 4G, up from 39 at the moment, and Verizon’s touting it as the “fastest, most advanced 4G mobile network in America.”

5. Google’s Books plans just took a pretty big hit: A federal judge has rejected the deal Google had struck with lawyers for authors and publishers–a highly controversial issue right from the get-go. The judge, Denny Chin, noted a universal online library would be a useful resource for many people, but the Google plan simply goes “too far” because it would grant Google universal rights without necessarily involving the original authors.

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