THE LEDE: Sara reports that Sprint made it clear Monday it will to do battle over AT&T's proposed megamerger with T-Mobile, which would create the largest wireless company in the nation. In a statement, Sprint's top policy executive, Vonya McCann, urged the government to block the $39 billion acquisition. She pledged to fight the merger, describing it as "anticompetitive."
Sprint, the third largest carrier, could be left trailing a distant third behind Verizon and AT&T if federal regulators approve the deal. The Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must approve the deal. Meanwhile, Sprint's top lobbyist told Hillicon the Tea Party is a natural opponent to the merger.
AT&T argues that the deal, which includes a pledge to invest billions in infrastructure, will spread broadband, create jobs, and improve service. The wireless industry will remain robustly competitive after the merger, the company says.
And analysts are predicting the deal could mean a big boost for the Communications Workers of America, which represents AT&T employees.
Tuesday's cybersecurity hearing postponed: The Senate Commerce Committee will push Tuesday's cybersecurity hearing until May as chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) leaves town to attend the funeral of close friend and federal Judge M. Blane Michael. Rockefeller is one of several key Senate committee chairs taking part in negotiations over comprehensive cybersecurity legislation. Read more in The Hill.
NPR will suspend its search for a senior vice president for news
until the public broadcaster finds a permanent CEO, according to an
email from interim chief executive Joyce
Slocum obtained by The Hill. Slocum decided to stop the search for
Ellen Weiss's replacement after consulting with members of the search
advisory committee. Weiss was forced to resign
in January over her role in the firing of news analyst Juan Williams
(Williams now writes a column for The Hill.)
NPR Chief Executive Vivian Schiller was subsequently forced to resign after conservative activist James O'Keefe published a video containing impolitic remarks from NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller (no relation) concerning Tea Party supporters. Slocum said the decision was driven by the fact that several candidates for the senior news position have indicated interest in the CEO position; the two people would have to work closely.
ACLU asking schools to stop blocking LGBT content: The ACLU wrote to public high schools in Kansas, Michigan and Missouri on Monday demanding they stop filtering content aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals. The civil rights group learned of the censorship after teaming up with Yale Law School on the "Don't Filter Me" campaign that asks students to check if their school is blocking content.
ACT stands up for DUI checkpoint apps: A technology trade group sponsored by Microsoft, Oracle and Intel is pushing back against Senate Democrats who want smartphone-makers to pull apps that tip drivers to the location of police drunken driving checkpoints. Association for Competitive Technology president Jonathan Zuck argued the apps are legal, based on publicly available data and said removing them would raise serious free-speech concerns.
Schedule note: Slow day for Tech events on Tuesday with the Senate Cyber hearing cancelled, but stay tuned because Wednesday is chock full of events including a House Judiciary hearing on patent reform that may include the unveiling of chairman Lamar Smith's (R-Texas) patent reform bill.
eBay plans to acquire the e-commerce site GSI Commerce for $2.4 billion.
American firms supply much of the technology used to censor the Internet in the Middle East.
Co-founder Jack Dorsey will return to Twitter to lead product development as executive chairman.