Data Squeeze at AT&T – Morning Business Memo

Mar 2, 2012 8:19am

A big slowdown at A&T for the heaviest users of data. The number two wireless company is ending unlimited data plans. Smartphone users will see much slower download speeds if they go over their monthly usage cap. AT&T and other wireless providers are trying to manage a limited supply of wireless airwaves in the face of heavy usage by Android and iPhone users. AT&T has spent billions of dollars to build and maintain a new 4G network that can handle data traffic. The new limit applies to its 17 million customers. They will have to pay more as they download video, stream music and use more apps.

Bank of America is not the only big bank to introduce or experiment with new fees. Wells Fargo is testing a $15 a month charge for some checking accounts unless customers maintain a minimum balance of $7,500 or have a Wells Fargo mortgage. Some Citibank customers are being charged $20 a month unless they keep $15,000 in their accounts, up from $6,000 before December. “I see the banks trying to get a little more loyalty with customers,” Beverly Harzog with Credit.com tells me. “It’s kind of a double-edged sword because they might say oh, if you get your checking account savings account and a credit card with us we’re going to give you better rewards or a better interest rate.”

The leaders of 25 of 27 European Union nations have signed a new treaty. The aim is to prevent countries that share the euro currency from running up big debts. European leaders are still dealing with financial problems – caused by high levels of government debt.

Yelp’s popular online reviews guide the hungry to the best restaurants, the thirsty to the friendliest bars and the flabby to the toughest personal trainers. But on the eve of its initial public offering, the eight-year-old, still unprofitable company has yet to convince stock analysts of its long-term prospects. Yelp is pricing its stock IPO at $15 a share. That’s more than expected. The offering values Yelp at $900 million.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio twitter.com/daviesabc

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