Amp’d turns off the volume

Mobile startup to shut down its service

One of the highest-flying mobile startups has been grounded.

Amp’d Mobile, a so-called mobile virtual network operator, appears to be shutting down the service after earlier filing for bankruptcy protection.

Company told customers that “it is potentially suspending U.S. operations on July 24th” but essentially confirmed the closure by saying that customers’ service will not be available after Monday.

Amp’d had filed for protection from creditors in June. Among the major entertainment players that had been owed money by Amp’d include MTV Networks ($1.4 million) and Vivendi ($10 million).

MTV and Universal Music were both investors in the company.

Amp’d launched in 2005, leasing spectrum space from Verizon and getting into business with Jack Black, some “The Simpsons” writers and “Monster House” scribes Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, all of whom were working on creating original episodes for the service.

But shuttering confirms that while the ability of startups to lease spectrum space has created a glut of providers, consumers’ appetite for the services has been modest.

Bankruptcy papers say Amp’d owes more than $100 million to creditors.

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