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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

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Andrea Peterson

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Posted at 02:35 PM ET, 10/18/2012

Google earnings go up early, stock plummets #thecircuit

Google falls after accidental earnings release: Google, which was set to report its third-quarter earnings after market trading Thursday, accidentally released its third-quarter earnings early, reporting a surprising 20 percent drop in profit.

The tech giant’s stock price fell 9 percent to $687.39 a share minutes after the premature release, prompting NASDAQ to stop trading.

The release was posted by its financial printer RR Donnelley “without authorization,” the company said in a statement. “We have ceased trading on NASDAQ while we work to finalize the document.”

Google reported revenue of $11.3 billion during the third quarter, up 19 percent compared to the same period last year. But that was lower than analysts expectations of $11.8 billion. Net income fell to $2.18 billion.

Cost-per-click fell 15 percent compared with the same period last year, but aggregate clicks rose 33 percent. Ad revenue, overall, grew 16 percent.

Sprint moves to assume Clearwire control: Sprint is moving to buy an additional stake in Clearwire, giving it control of the broadband firm.

Sprint already owns 48 percent of Clearwire — a partnership that has allowed Sprint to build out the 4G network it needs to compete with AT&T and Verizon.The news follows Monday’s announcement that Japanese carrier Softbank will buy a 70 percent stake in Sprint for $20.1 billion.

Sprint will buy 30.9 million shares of Class A stock and 2.7 million shares of Class B stock in Clearwire from Eagle River Holdings. Eagle River is owned by Clearwire’s founder, Craig McCaw.

Sprint spokesman John Taylor said that there is “no requirement in our transaction that Sprint acquire any additional stock of Clearwire beyond that which we already own or have an existing right to purchase.”

In a statement, AT&T spokesman Brad Burns noted that the proposed deals would give one of Japan’s largest wireless companies “significantly more U.S. wireless spectrum than any other company.”

“We expect that fact and others will be fully explored in the regulatory review process,” Burns said. “This is one more example of a very dynamic and competitive U.S. wireless marketplace, which is an important fact for U.S. regulators to recognize”

Verizon posts strong activations: Verizon posted high activations in its third-quarter earnings report, with 3.1 million iPhones and 3.4 million handsets running Google’s Android operating system. The numbers also suggest that the company has activated around 650,000 of Apple’s new iPhone 5 on its LTE network, according to Fortune.

The company reported a 7.5 percent increase in revenue from the same period last year, and said that its growth was partly tied to the introduction of its shared data plans.

Twitter bans account in Germany: Twitter said late Wednesday it has blocked a German group’s account to users in that country at the request of police — the first time the company has implemented its targeted censorship policy.

The company informed users about the decision via a tweet from its general counsel Alex MacGillivray. He said Twitter never wants to withhold content, but that it’s “good to have tools to do it narrowly & transparently.”

According to the complaint, German police asked Twitter to close the account of the group, Besseres Hannover. Police in Germany, the request said, have disbanded the group, seized its assets and demanded that all its social networking accounts be closed immediately.

AT&T approved for wireless spectrum: The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday approved a proposal by AT&T and radio service Sirius XM Radio that would allow the wireless giant to move forward with plans to use airwaves that were under dispute over interference concerns, The Washington Post reported.

AT&T will be able to use the majority of a 30 megahertz swath of spectrum to build out 4G LTE wireless services in certain areas, the report said. The ruling gives AT&T a significant boost in its efforts to compete with Verizon Wireless for 4G LTE customers.

By  |  02:35 PM ET, 10/18/2012

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