T-Mobile Sues and Settles Starbucks

June 11th, 2008 at 12:00 am

starbucks at&t tmobile

T-Mobile USA filed a lawsuit against Starbucks, which had recently switched over from T-Mobile to AT&T.  AT&T offering free WiFi at Starbucks locations is putting the hurt on T-Mobile’s WiFi business, prompted the lawsuit. T-Mobile, the coffee chain’s pre-existing wireless Internet service partner, has presented a lawsuit in New York state court.

In the lawsuit, filed late on Thursday in New York state court, T-Mobile alleges that AT&T and Starbucks Corp are not living up to an agreement the three companies reached over how Starbucks should transfer from its T-Mobile partnership to a new partnership with AT&T announced earlier this year. 

"T-Mobile had made a very significant investment in the technology and equipment necessary to provide Wi-Fi service in the many thousands of Starbucks stores in the United States," the lawsuit said. Moreover,  "Starbucks and AT&T … secretly developed a promotional plan under which they would offer ‘free’ AT&T/Starbucks Wi-Fi even in stores."

These were just last week.  In a swift surprising and unexciting way, the 3 companies are already in talks and nearing an agreement.  There seems to be no blood in this lawsuit (which I was hoping for actually.. dang!).

Starbucks, AT&T and T-Mobile have reached a deal to resolve T-Mobile’s claim that the coffee chain secretly colluded with AT&T to offer free Wi-Fi Internet access in its cafes despite an exclusive agreement with T-Mobile, Starbucks said in a statement on Wednesday.

"T-Mobile, AT&T and Starbucks have entered into a memorandum of understanding to resolve their disputes and are committed to providing a high quality Wi-Fi experience for customers," Starbucks spokeswoman Stacey Krum said in the statement e-mailed to reporters.

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed yet.