LEADING THE DAY: The Justice Department has asked for more information on Google’s proposed acquisition of display ad company AdMeld, the company disclosed in a blog post Wednesday evening. This second request from the government comes about a month after Google announced the deal in June.
The company is currently under the microscope at the Federal Trade Commission for antitrust concerns. Neal Mohan, Google’s vice president of display advertising, said that Google was not surprised by the second request as, “today’s display advertising industry is very new and highly complex.”
Government surveillance: The Obama administration has dodged the questions of Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Tom Udall (D-Colo.) asking how the government interprets domestic surveillance law, The Washington Post reported. Wyden and Udall have said they will offer an amendment to the current intelligence authorization bill compelling the administration to disclose its legal basis for gathering intelligence.
A letter to the senators from Kathleen Turner, director of legislative affairs for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said that “it is not reasonably possible” to determine how many Americans’ communications may have been monitored under the law.
Sprint, LightSquared form LTE agreement: The Washington Post reported that Sprint Nextel and LightSquared have entered in a 15-year agreement for 4G wholesale and 3G roaming, the companies announced in a joint release Thursday morning. Under the deal’s terms, LightSquared will pay Sprint $9 billion in cash and about $4.5 billion in LTE and satellite purchase credits. In turn, Sprint has agreed to a roaming deal with LightSquared, will host its spectrum and provide network services. “With this agreement, LightSquared can complete its 4G-LTE deployment more than, one year ahead of the FCC mandate to cover 260 million Americans by 2015,” the companies said in a release.
Sprint currently uses WiMax technology for its 4G network through an agreement with Clearwire. The wireless company reported Thursday morning that net earnings for the quarter were down $847 million. The company’s net subscriptions are up 1.1 million in its second-quarter, bolstered by pre-paid customers.
Attorneys general support merger: Eleven attorneys general have voiced their support for a merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. The group, led by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, said that the merger will lead to better service and faster data downloads for consumers.
Bloomberg, Comcast: In response to a Bloomberg claim that Comcast has not included independent news channels in its channel lineups, the company told the FCC Wednesday that it is not blocking local competition or violating the terms of its merger with NBC Universal.
Bloomberg responded to Comcast’s filing late Wednesday, reasserting that Comcast is not adhering to the conditions that cleared the way for its merger. “We are confident that [FCC] Chairman Genachowski and his colleagues will enforce this condition, not only because of the critical role of independent programming and especially independent sources of news, but also because the integrity of the merger review process demands it,” said Greg Babyak, Bloomberg’s head of government affairs.
Cellphones and cancer: A new study determines there is no clear link between cellphone use and cancer in children, The Washington Post reported. The study, written by scientists at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, said that their found no increase in brain tumors among children who have used cellphones for five years or more.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organization issued a report saying the cellphones are “possibly carcinogenic” to humans.
British court orders piracy site blocked: A London court ruled that the Web site Newzbin, a site that allows users to access the distribution network Usebin, should be blocked by British Internet service providers. GigaOm reported that the ruling sides with the position of the Motion Picture Association of America that the site facilitates copyright infringement. The judge in the case, Justin Arnold, said in his ruling that service providers “has actual knowledge of other persons using its services to infringe copyright.”