Starbucks and AT&T reach deal with T-Mobile

NEW YORK Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:00pm EDT

A woman walks past a Starbucks store in Somerville, Massachusetts in this file photo from April 24, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

A woman walks past a Starbucks store in Somerville, Massachusetts in this file photo from April 24, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp, AT&T Inc 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.

She did not disclose the terms of the agreement. An AT&T spokesman confirmed the agreement and a T-Mobile spokesman had no immediate comment.

In a lawsuit filed last week in New York state court, T-Mobile alleged that AT&T and Starbucks were not abiding by 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 said in the suit at the time that it was seeking unspecified damages against Starbucks for breach of its contract and unfair competition.

AT&T and Starbucks said in late April that they had begun a nationwide Wi-Fi roll-out in Starbucks chains.

(Reporting by Emily Chasan and Edith Honan; Editing by Brian Moss)

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