U.S. moves to block AT&T, T-Mobile deal

August 31, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces, Telecommunications | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) – The Obama administration on Wednesday fired a legal broadside to block AT&T Inc’s $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile, launching its biggest challenge yet to a takeover and dealing the carrier a potentially costly blow.

AT&T plans to fight the government’s decision in court and analysts say it might have to make big concessions — including selling major assets — to mollify regulators.

Shares in the No. 2 U.S. carrier behind Verizon Wireless fell as much as 5.4 percent. If the deal falls through, it may have to pay a break-up fee and benefits, such as spectrum grants, worth an estimated $6 billion.

The Justice Department in a lawsuit filed in federal court said eliminating T-Mobile as a competitor would be disastrous for consumers and would raise prices, particularly because the smaller provider is considered a pioneer in low-cost service plans. [more]

 

US farmers urged to join Federal program to grow crops for aviation bio-fuel

August 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Seattlepi.com

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Farmers are being urged to join a federal program that pays them to grow camelina, a crop that some researchers consider a potential alternative to overseas oil.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said the new U.S. Department of Agriculture effort is intended to jump-start the creation of a camelina-to-fuel industry.

But The Spokesman-Review reported Wednesday that unless many more Western U.S. farmers grow camelina, few companies will invest money in production facilities to turn camelina oil into biodiesel or “green” aviation fuel.

Cantwell said the program would pay Eastern Washington farmers up to $4.5 million in crop support over five years to grow camelina on their land. But growers must commit to the program by Sept. 16. The USDA funds are only for the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. [Full story]

 

U.S. Navy weighing $8 billion contract with Textron and Boeing for Ospreys

August 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Bloomberg

The Navy is considering buying another 122 V-22 Ospreys from Textron Inc. (TXT) and Boeing Co. (BA) for about $8 billion.

The proposed contract, in its early stages, would supply the aircraft to the Marine Corps and Air Force through 2017 — renewing a current deal for five more years.

Textron of Providence, Rhode Island, and Chicago-based Boeing are in the last year of a four-year, $10.9 billion contract for 174 aircraft. Textron’s Bell Helicopter unit and Boeing have submitted a new request for proposals, officials said. The Navy declined to speculate on the potential value. At the current basic “flyaway” cost of $65 million apiece, the new contract could approach $8 billion. [Full story]

EADS to acquire satellite company

August 2, 2011 at 10:12 am | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces, Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Wall Street Journal

PARIS—European Aeronautics Defence and Space Co. said Monday that it agreed to buy satellite-services company Vizada from private-equity fund Apax France for €673 million ($969 million), its fourth acquisition in recent months.

The takeover, which is subject to regulatory approval, would fit with EADS’s strategy of expanding its services outside Europe to reduce the company’s dependence on Airbus, its large aircraft division, which contributes the bulk of the aerospace group’s revenue and profit.

Europe Turns to the Cloud – lawmakers review E.U. data privacy laws

July 29, 2011 at 11:56 am | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces, Telecommunications | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: NY Times

Data privacy laws in Europe restrict the transfer of information about individuals outside the 27-country European Union. That had prevented many companies on the Continent from moving to the cloud, where data may be stored on remote servers in Asia, the United States or elsewhere at a lower cost than what a company would pay for its own servers.

Yet despite the tricky legal landscape, Shutl, now a two-year-old start-up, has become one of Europe’s most avid users of cloud technology. The company carries out more than 1,000 deliveries a day over a cloud network operated by Amazon, the U.S. Web retailer.

Cloud computing could get a lift soon from Brussels, where lawmakers are reviewing the European Union’s data protection directive, which governs how personal information travels within and outside the 27-nation bloc. Viviane Reding, the European commissioner overseeing the revisions, plans to make a proposal this autumn.[more]

U.S. government subsidizes crop projects for aviation bio-fuel

July 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON, July 26 (Reuters) – Farmers in four states in
the U.S. West can qualify for a federal cost-sharing payment if
they grow camelina, an oilseed, for conversion into jet fuel,
the government said on Tuesday.

The assistance would encourage large-scale production — up
to 51,000 acres (21,000 hectares) — of camelina for sale to
aviation biofuel makers AltAir Fuels LLC, of Seattle, and
Beaver Biodiesel LLC, of Portland, Oregon.

It would be the first time the Agriculture Department
subsidized an aviation bio-crop. [more]

U.S. Federal appeals court rejects challenge to TSA body scans

July 18, 2011 at 8:07 am | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces, Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Jurist

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Friday unanimously rejected [opinion, PDF] a constitutional challenge to the full-body scans conducted at airports by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) [official website]. The appeals court held that the use of full body scanners [TSA backgrounder], also known as Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT), does not violate the Fourth Amendment [text] protection against unreasonable searches, nor does it violate any federal statutes. However, the court said that the TSA violated procedural requirements by failing to give notice to the public as well as provide an opportunity to file comments with the agency pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) [materials]. Though the petitioners, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) [official website], were disappointed [WSJ report] that the court dismissed the constitutional challenge, President of EPIC Marc Rotenberg applauded the ruling [press release]:

We are pleased with the court’s decision. The TSA is now subject to the same rules as other government agencies that help ensure transparency and accountability. Many Americans object to the airport body scanner program. Now they will have an opportunity to express their views to the TSA and the agency must take their views into account as a matter of law.The court ultimately remanded the case to the agency for further proceedings to “cure the defect.”  [more]

Supreme Court to Hear Warrantles GPS Search Case

June 27, 2011 at 11:37 am | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces, Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Source – Associated Press

Supreme Court to review warrantless GPS tracking

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press – 3 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will weigh in on an important privacy issue for the digital age: whether the police need a warrant before using a global positioning system device to track a suspect’s movements.

The justices said Monday they will hear the Obama administration’s appeal of a court ruling that favored a criminal defendant. The federal appeals court in Washington overturned a criminal conviction because the police had no warrant for the GPS device they secretly installed on a man’s car.

Other appeals courts have ruled that search warrants aren’t necessary for GPS tracking.

The Justice Department argued that warrantless use of GPS devices does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches. It also said prompt resolution of the divergent court opinions is critically important to law enforcement. . . . [Full Story]

More at The Volokh Conspiracy and Threat Level.

Dutch Lawmakers Adopt Internet Neutrality Law

June 22, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces, Telecommunications | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: NY Times

BERLIN — The Netherlands on Wednesday became the first country in Europe, and only the second in the world, to enshrine the concept of network neutrality into national law by banning its mobile operators from blocking or charging consumers extra for using Internet-based communications services like Skype or WhatsApp, a free text service. [Full story]

Texas considering new bill on TSA pat-downs

June 22, 2011 at 8:54 am | Posted in Aerospace Law Interfaces, Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: The Texas Tribune

Gov. Rick Perry this evening announced the addition of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) anti-groping legislation to the agenda for the special session. In a statement, he said lawmakers could consider legislation “relating to the prosecution and punishment for the offense of official oppression on those seeking access to public buildings and transportation.” [Full story]

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