Could the beleaguered financier's wireless company, LightSquared, be a 21st-century Nextel?
By Scott Woolley, contributor
It has been a tough couple of months for billionaire Phil Falcone. His Harbinger Capital hedge funds have withered to $9 billion from $26 billion three years ago, drained by bets on bum stocks and the departure of fed-up investors. In early November the Securities and Exchange Commission began looking into improper favors Harbinger may have given some investors, as well as a $113 million personal loan issued to Falcone. Then came the kicker: The latest Harbinger-backed venture, a wireless broadband company called LightSquared, ran into a potentially fatal technical glitch.
LightSquared, based in Reston, Va., wants to use two satellites that serve as cellphone towers in space to deliver superfast Internet connections and phone service. In mid-November the company launched its first satellite -- only to have the antenna fail to unfurl, rendering the satellite useless. The antenna eventually opened, but not before giving Harbinger's remaining investors (and Falcone detractors) reason to question LightSquared's viability. More
The carriers' combined market share shrank to 4.9% last year as Apple solidified its lead
Songs streamed directly to cellphones, once touted as the next big thing in digital music, failed to take off and is now rapidly losing ground to Apple's (AAPL) iTunes Store.
That's the conclusion of a survey in the May 22 issue of Billboard. Based on interviews with distributors representing roughly 90% of the total market, Retail MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 19, 2010 11:27 AM ET
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