Judge rejects AT&T's bid to pull Verizon ads

AP News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2009 12:01 PM

A federal judge on Wednesday denied a request by AT&T Inc. to force competitor Verizon Wireless to pull its "There's a Map for That" commercials.

But the judge scheduled a Dec. 16 hearing to give the AT&T attorneys another chance to make their case.

AT&T filed the lawsuit in federal court in Atlanta earlier this month and asked for a temporary restraining order and a permanent injunction to stop the ads. It contends they are misleading and amount to deceptive trade practices.

Verizon argues that the commercials are valid and truthful.

The ads show maps of the United States with areas highlighted to depict where third generation _ or "3G" _ network coverage is available. A map of the country nearly covered with red dots is shown to depict Verizon's coverage, while a map with some blue areas and a lot of blank space is shown to ostensibly display AT&T's 3G coverage.

AT&T says those maps are misleading because there is still regular coverage in areas where 3G service is not offered. The 3G networks allow users to access data faster.

The Verizon commercials mock Apple Inc.'s popular "There's an App for That" spots touting the thousands of applications that can be used on the iPhone. AT&T provides coverage for the iPhone.