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Timothy B. Lee

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Posted at 08:29 AM ET, 11/07/2011

The Circuit: Groupon IPO good for deal sites, Apple pays to keep execs, Chinese firms to censor more

LEADING THE DAY: Groupon’s IPO is a good sign for other deals businesses, writes Steven Overly of The Washington Post. The daily deals site had a strong debut on the market Friday, rising nearly 50 percent in its opening minutes on the market. Analyst Mark Fratrik, vice president and chief economist at BIA/Kelsey, said that the debut could have a “glow effect” on everyone in the business.

Analysts also said that LivingSocial, the D.C.-based rival to to the daily deals company, should think about going public soon.

Apple pays to keep execs: Apple has paid out stock options to several of its executives in what appears to be a move to keep its top stable of talent at the company. According to documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company has given stock grants to seven of its top-tier employees: Eddy Cue, Scott Forstall, Robert Mansfield, Peter Oppenheimer, Philip Schiller, Bruce Sewell and Jeffrey Williams.

The New York Times pointed out that only two people from Apple’s leadership team were not included in the stock disclosure list in the documents: design guru Jonathan Ive, whose position doesn’t required disclosure of stock awards, and chief executive Timothy Cook, who received a stock award in late August.

Chinese firms to increase Web censorship: Thirty-nine organizations including Baidu and Alibaba have reportedly agreed to step up their levels of Internet censorship by request of the government, according to a report from the TG Daily. Citing a report from the state-run press agency Xinhua, the report says that the firms have agreed to “curb the spread” of online rumors, pornography, Internet fraud and “harmful information” on the Web. China’s main mobile carriers have also agreed to the censorship, the report said.

Deustche Telekom slips in Europe: T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom is falling behind competitors in European markets, Bloomberg reported, as it continues to fight for U.S. approval of a $39 billion acquisition deal between T-Mobile and AT&T. Analysts believe the company’s sales in Germany may have fallen by as much as 4.9 percent and the company is reportedly looking at many plans to keep costs low.

Warrantless GPS tracking: The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday on United States v. Jones, which will examine whether warrantless GPS tracking constitutes a violation of the Fourth Amendment, according to SCOTUSblog. The case at hand looks at whether police had the right to put a tracker in the vehicle of D.C. nightclub owner Antoine Jones without a warrant. SCOTUSblog points out that the court will have to determine whether tracking via GPS is, in fact, radically different from visual tracking.

Google patent lawyer calls system “broken”: Google has made no secret of how it feels about the patent system as it snaps up patents from other tech companies and through its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Google patent counsel Tim Porter articulated the company’s frustrations with the system in an interview with San Francisco Chronicle columnist James Temple, saying that patent lawsuits are a threat to innovation.

He also said that the current problems with software patents stem from a “10- or 15-year period when the issuance of software patents was too lax,” and the government was awarding patents that were too broad.

By  |  08:29 AM ET, 11/07/2011

Tags:  Google, IP, Privacy, T-Mobile, AT&T, International, Apple, Groupon, SEC

 
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