The Circuit: AT&T, T-Mobile hearing; Cybersecurity and ‘Buckshot Yankee’; Verizon ends deal with DirectTV

LEADING THE DAY: U.S. District Court Judge of the District of Columbia Ellen Huvelle will hold a status hearing Friday to discuss the Justice Department’s lawsuit filed to block the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. It is the first time she will speak publicly about the merger since the companies withdrew their applications for the deal with the Federal Communications Commission.

AT&T and the FCC have traded barbs following the commission’s decision to release its negative analysis of the proposed deal, and the wireless carriers have indicated that they will try to move forward with the merger.

Cybersecurity transformed by “Buckshot Yankee”: The U.S. completely changed its approach to cybersecurity after finding a piece of malicious software deep inside the military’s computer systems in 2008, The Washington Post reported. Dealing with this malware strengthened the argument for creating the Cyber Command unit, but government officials still wrestled with issues of which departments should have the power to respond to a major destructive cyber attack and with how much power.

Verizon ends satellite deal, FiOS expansion: Verizon is ending its agreement with satellite provider DirecTV and stopping the buildout of its FiOS network within the next couple of year, The Washington Post reported. The company’s chief executive, Lowell McAdam, made the announcements shortly after Verizon Wireless announced a deal with Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House that included sale of spectrum for $3.6 billion and a marketing partnership.

In a Q&A session, McAdam dismissed the possibility that the FCC and antitrust officials may have reservations about the deal, but a person familiar with the thinking of government officials told the Post that the agreement has raised some concerns with antitrust regulators.

MPAA criticizes bill from Issa, Wyden: The Motion Picture Association of America criticized an alternative online piracy bill posted online by a group of lawmakers including Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) Thursday, saying that the bill “goes easy on Internet piracy.” The draft legislation posted online Thursday, called the Online Protection and ENforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN), proposes that the International Trade Commission be granted jurisdiction over online infringement cases.

The MPAA is a major supporter of the Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP Acts in the House and Senate, and argued that adding this caseload to the ITC would be inefficient and costly. The group also took issue with the fact that foreign rogue Web sites would be notified of investigations and that they or other parties will be able to argue their case under the current provisions of OPEN.

Samsung, Apple: Samsung is celebrating after a panel of Australian judges ruled that the company can sell its tablet computers in stores before the end of the holiday season. Bloomberg reported that the Australian High Court has denied Apple’s request to continue a ban on Samsung’s Galaxy tablets in the country, saying that Apple failed to convince the court that the Korean company had infringed upon its patents for the iPad 2.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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