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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 08:31 AM ET, 09/27/2011

The Circuit: Facebook’s PAC, AT&T/T-Mobile merger, Spotify and Facebook

LEADING THE DAY: Facebook is forming a political action committee, The Washington Post reported, strengthening ties with Washington politicians as the social networking giant faces growing questions about how it handles users’ privacy. Facebook also recently expanded its Washington, D.C. office.

Several other tech and Web giants also have PACs, including Google and Microsoft. The committees serve an avenue for corporate employees to donate money to political candidates.

AT&T, T-Mobile merger: Six members of the House Energy and Commerce committee wrote to the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission last week urging them to limit any conditions imposed on AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile.

The Hill reported that the Republican lawmakers — Reps. John Shimkus (R- Ill.), Adam Kinzinger ( R- Ill.), Steve Scalise (R- La.), Brett Guthrie (R- Ky.), Marsha Blackburn (R- Tenn.) and Phil Gingrey (R- Ga.) — wrote that any conditions should be “narrowly tailored” to the transaction and not impact other parties.

Spotify, Facebook: Spotify now requires its users to have Facebook accounts, the company confirmed Monday, though users are able to control what the application shares on Facebook. In an official statement, the streaming music service said that the move “seemed logical,” as many of its users have already linked their music accounts to the social network.

Spotify has reportedly gained one million new monthly active Facebook users since last Thursday’s f8 conference, Inside Facebook reported, as users try out the service and share their music with friends.

Amazon ‘Kindle Fire’ tablet: is expected to announce its entry into the tablet market Wednesday. Amazon’s access to streaming music, video and apps would make the on-line retailer’s tablet a valuable entertainment hub. The device, which has been described as a gadget that falls between an e-reader and a fully functioning tablet such as Apple’s iPad, is rumored to be priced around $250. TechCrunch reported that it will be called the Kindle Fire.

FTC announcement: The Federal Trade Commission said Monday that it will announce a major deceptive advertising settlement on Wednesday. The FTC’s consumer protection bureau head, David Vladeck, will be the main speaker at the announcement.

By  |  08:31 AM ET, 09/27/2011

Tags:  FTC, Amazon, Facebook, AT&T, T-Mobile, FCC, DOJ, Google, Microsoft

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