The Washington Post

The Circuit: Google-Motorola gets nod from E.U., FCC hearing, cybersecurity

E.U. grants approval to Google, Motorola: The European Union has granted its approval to the merger between Google and Motorola Mobility, a $12.5 billion deal proposed in August.

The European Commission ruled Monday that the deal doesn’t significantly change the technology landscape for mobile devices, The Associated Press reported, and that it does not believe Google will keep other companies from using the Android smartphone operating system after the deal is complete, but will have to tread carefully or face stiff sanctions.

FCC hearing: Following the Federal Communications Commission’s monthly meeting Wednesday, the House subcommittee on technology will hold a hearing Thursday to look at the Federal Communication Commission’s budget and spending.

Witnesses for the hearing have not yet been announced. Last week, the House Energy and Commerce committee delayed the markup of two bills that would change the way the agency operates, limiting the conditions the agency could place on mergers and codifying the FCC’s unofficial “shot clock.”

Cybersecurity: The Senate will be focused on cybersecurity this week, with two hearings coming Thursday on cybersecurity issues.

Ahead of a hearing from the Senate Homeland Security Committee, The Hill reported that Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) is planning to introduce cybersecurity legislation that would give the DHS the power to regulate companies with systems deemed critical to the country’s infrastructure.

Witnesses at the hearing will include DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and National Security Task Force chairman Thomas Ridge.

Also on Thursday, the subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence will hold a hearing looking closely at Homeland Security’s policy on monitoring social networking sites.

House broadband hearing: The House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing examining broadband adoption and its role in the growth of small businesses. Witnesses for the panel include several executives from rural broadband and telecommunications groups.

“When enacting technology and broadband policies, we must first make a commitment to ensuring that small businesses and rural communities will benefit fromthis increased infrastructure development,” said chairman Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) in a statement. “Regulatory policies that diminish the incentive for such private sector investment will benefit neither small businesses nor the economies that rely on them.”

Apple tops $500 per share: Apple shares broke $500 for the first time on Monday, jumping 25 percent in six months after the hot tech stock passed the $400 mark in July. The stock opened at $499.53 and immediately jumped to $501. Since reporting its first-quarter results in January, Apple shares have climbed steadily and grown roughly 17 percent in the past month.

Apple opens up factories to FLA: Apple announced Monday that it had opened up its factories for independent audit to the Fair Labor Association. The computer company announced that it would be joining the group a month ago, becoming the first technology firm to do so.

The inspections will begin at Apple’s Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, at the company’s request, Apple said in a release Monday.

The FLA will publish the reports publicly and will include the names of the factories it audits. The results of the investigation will be released in March.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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