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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

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Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

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Posted at 01:57 PM ET, 07/25/2012

Patents not main reason behind Google-Motorola deal #thecircuit

Google spent just $5.5 B on Motorola patents: A report from VentureBeat highlights that Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility was only partially fueled by patent acquisitions, which many suspected was the main drive behind the deal. The report says that only $5.5 billion of the $12.5 billion deal went to patent acquisition.

Google hasn’t provided much information on its strategy for Motorola, saying only that everyone should expect “some changes” at the hardware maker.

While patents may not have been the top reason that Google wanted Motorola, however, its patents should prove valuable as the company fights intellectual property disputes with companies such as Apple in court.

FCC to fund Internet expansion: The Federal Communication Commission announced Wednesday that it will work on a public-private initiative to expand high-speed Internet access in rural America. The program will have about $115 million in public funds, coupled with “tens of millions more” from private investment to expand the country’s broadband infrastructure.

According to a release from the agency, some projects will begin immediately, and all must be completed within three years.

Google, E.U.: Google and the European Union have neared a deal that could resolve an antitrust investigation, The Washington Post reported.

The European Union “considers Google’s proposals as a good basis for further talks and has reached a good level of understanding with Google,” Antoine Colombani, spokesman for the top antitrust official in Europe, told the Post. “There will soon be discussions at technical levels. We hope this process will lead to remedies addressing our concerns.”

The move could relieve some of the pressure companies face in the United States, the Post reported, because a settlement with the European Commission could serve as a template for a similar agreement here.

Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay join new lobbying group: Tech giants including Google, eBay, Amazon and Facebook have launched a new lobbying group — The Internet Association — which will advocate for the tech industry on privacy, online sales tax reforms, cybersecurity and piracy and copyright issues, The Washington Post reported.

The association is expected to launch in September. It will be led by Michael Beckerman, former deputy staff director of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and longtime adviser to Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich).

Data brokers: A group of bipartisan lawmakers sent letters to nine of the major data broker firms Wednesday asking the companies to explain how each collects, assembles and sells consumer information to third parties.

A group of lawmakers, including Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus chairmen Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Tex.), have asked these companies to explain five things: where these companies get their information; what kind of data they collect; which companies buy the data; an explanation of how the data are protected; and an explanation of how consumers can get information on policies regarding how data are shared and deleted.

The Federal Trade Commission has also called for a transparency law for Internet data brokers, as The Washington Post reported in March.

Apple earnings disappoint: Apple disappointed analysts Tuesday with its earnings report, missing on revenue and sales estimates for the iPhone. While the company saw 22 percent growth year-over-year and set a record for iPad sales, the stock tumbled after-hours and in Wednesday trading, bringing the Nasdaq down with it.

In mid-afternoon trading Wednesday, Apple stock was at $577.41 per share, down from a previous close of $600.92. Apple said that a buying pause ahead of the next iPhone release as well as the economy in Europe affected its performance in the past quarter.

By  |  01:57 PM ET, 07/25/2012

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