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Sprint, Softbank announce a deal #thecircuit

Sprint, SoftBank announce a deal: Sprint Nextel and the Japanese carrier SoftBank announced a $20.1 billion deal Monday that will hand majority control of the U.S. carrier to SoftBank. The Japanese firm is buying an approximately 70 percent stake in Sprint — an infusion of capital that will help the Sprint as it makes over its network.

Sprint chief executive Dan Hesse joined SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son in Tokyo for the announcement.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which evaluates the national security implications of foreign investments, will also review the proposal.

Microsoft announces music service: Expanding its entertainment content, Microsoft announced Monday that it is launching its own music service, called Xbox Music.

The service will be available to Microsoft customers with Windows 8 or Windows RT devices for free; Windows Phone 8 and Xbox customers will have to pay a $10 per month subscription fee.

Streaming is unlimited for the first six months, then limited to 10 hours per month; paid subscribers will have unlimited access to the service.

Amazon details Kindle refund: Amazon sent some of its consumers an e-mail over the weekend offering details on their eligibility for a refund on Kindle books bought between April 2010 and May 2012.

The refunds come as part of the Justice Department’s September settlement with Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, which were accused of working with other publishers and Apple to fix the prices of e-books.

The Associated Press reported that the state Attorneys General estimate that consumers will receive between 30 cents and $1.32 for each eligible Kindle book.

Consumers will not have to do anything to receive their refunds, Amazon said.

FTC building Google case: The Federal Trade Commission is preparing a recommendation to sue Google for its search practices, the New York Times reported, citing a draft reportedly being shared with FTC commissioners.

FTC chairman John Leibowitz said last month that the agency will make its final decision about whether to sue the search engine giant by the end of the year.

On Friday, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) urged the FTC not to sue Google for antitrust violations, The Hill reported. that Polis, who has a background in Internet companies, said that he believes the search market is competitive and that applying anti-trust regulations to Google “defies all logic and the very underpinnings of anti-trust law itself.”

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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