AT&T Grabs T-Mobile, Online Retail’s Tax Drain, Thoughts from “Chasm” Author Geoffrey Moore, & More in the Seattle-area Tech Roundup

The Seattle area’s longstanding prominence in the wireless carrier sector was thrown into question this weekend with AT&T’s announcement that it was purchasing Bellevue, WA-based T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. It will take months to see how the feds handle this proposed acquisition.

But at least in the meantime, AT&T is saying all the right things: The combination will drive better broadband coverage, competition won’t be diminished, and of great interest locally, that it will maintain a significant presence in the Puget Sound region. It’s worth revisiting a great interview that Xconomy’s Greg Huang did with Tom Huseby for some of the history behind this big news.

—Another of this region’s tech heavyweights,, continues to make news for reasons it surely doesn’t like: The ongoing drive by state officials to make hay with the public by targeting Amazon’s reluctance to become a sales-tax collector. But a bit of news from Olympia points out that bringing Amazon to heel isn’t the salve politicians may be looking for. As illustrated by the state’s chief economist, even though Amazon collects sales taxes here in Washington, the state Revenue Department is still missing out on probably half the sales tax revenue it should be getting from Internet retail. Think about that: Even with the behemoth of online retail doing its bit, Washington state’s strapped budget is still not able to collect some $370 million each year—a figure that looks to continue growing at a steep pace.

—I had a chance to interview business consultant, author, and venture capitalist Geoffrey Moore (of the book “Crossing the Chasm”) ahead of his speech to the Technology Alliance’s Washington Innovation Summit, and he stirred up all sorts of interesting ideas. Check out the whole thing for Moore’s take on why middle managers are key in a flattened-out … Next Page »

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