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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

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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 08:29 AM ET, 11/28/2011

The Circuit: AT&T/T-Mobile, gadgets as a digital pacifier, Facebook ads under scrutiny in Europe

LEADING THE DAY: Experts say that AT&T and T-Mobile are unlikely to win the regulatory battle that stands in the way of the companies’ proposed merger, The Washington Post reported. AT&T and T-Mobile have moved to withdraw their applications from the Federal Communications Commission to focus its efforts on its case with the Department of Justice. Last week, the FCC announced that it would seek an administrative hearing to review the proposed $39 billion acquisition.

AT&T has said that it expects to pay the $4 billion charge to T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom, which it is required to pay if the deal is not complete by September 2012.

Using gadgets as a “digital pacifier”: Tablets and smartphones are becoming increasingly popular for young children, Bloomberg reported. The iPad is the most-wanted holiday gift for children ages 6 to 12, according to a Nielsen survey, though Amazon’s low-cost Kindle Fire tablet might appeal to parents looking for a second tablet for the family.

Still, as The Washington Post reported, experts are undecided about the effects that technology use has on children. The Bloomberg report cites one pediatrician who recommends that toddlers under 2 shouldn’t be playing with a tablet such as the iPad unless it’s only displaying books.

Facebook ad policies under scrutiny in Europe: Facebook’s policies regarding how it uses personal information on its site for advertising are being examined by the European Commission, the Telegraph reported. Facebook’s policy is that it does not sell information to advertisers and does not track users to serve ads.

But some information on the network is used for targeted ads. A new EC directed expected in January will require that the company make targeted advertising on its network opt-in only, the report said. If Facebook does not comply, the company could face legal action or fines.

Amazon reports best Black Friday for Kindle sales: Amazon announced Monday that its Kindle Fire tablet was the best-selling product across its site on Black Friday. The company’s sales of the Kindle family of devices quadrupled from its figures last year, the company said, though — as always — it declined to provide concrete sales figures.

The Kindle Fire is seen to be a key competitor in the tablet market, going aggressively after consumers looking for a low-cost option to the iPad.

Zynga’s culture: Social gaming company Zynga might be facing a brain drain, Dealbook reported, because of its hard-driving culture. According to the report, Zynga chief executive Mark Pincus has been hearing complaints about the long hours that employees are expected to work and the high-stress atmosphere at the office. The company, which has filed to go public, might have to work on its image to continue attracting top talent, experts told Dealbook.

By  |  08:29 AM ET, 11/28/2011

 
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