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Posted at 08:49 AM ET, 05/11/2011

The Circuit: Merger hearing, Groupon Now, Google profits

LEADING THE DAY: Top telecom executives will speak on the Hill today as the Senate Judiciary committee meets to discuss the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.

The deal, which would create the country’s biggest cell carrier at 130 million users, is expected to face a tough climb to approval. Several of the deal’s opponents will have their say as well: Sprint, Cellular South and Public Knowledge have all come out against the deal, saying it will create a duopoly that’s bad for consumers, competition and innovation in the industry.

AT&T and T-Mobile will argue that the deal will help stave off a spectrum crisis and build out broadband access to over 95 percent of the country. The CWA is expected to speak in favor of the deal, saying that a T-Mobile acquisition was inevitable and that, for U.S. telecom workers, a partnership between T-Mobile and AT&T is preferable to one between T-Mobile and Sprint.

Groupon launches instant site: Groupon has launched a pilot program for Groupon Now, its instant mobile deals site, in Chicago as it continues to expand its coupon offerings and move toward an initial public offering.

The company was supposedly trying to file for an initial public offering this week, All Things Digital reported, at the urging of CEO Andrew Mason and others at the company. The company will wait to get its financials completely straight before moving ahead but is expected to file its paperwork very soon. The offering is expected to be valued at $15 billion or more.

Google income falls because of expected DOJ charge: In Google’s recent SEC filing, the company revealed it is expecting to pay $500 million to the Justice Department following an investigation into its advertising practices, Bloomberg reported. The expected payout cuts the company’s overall net income to $1.8 billion from its reported first-quarter profit of $2.3 billion.

Skype demanded at least $7 billion:Skype refused to entertain offers under $7 billion dollars for its acquisition, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the talks that led to Microsoft’s $8.5 billion purchase of the internet telephone company. The companies reportedly agreed on a price in mid-April and finalized the deal on Monday. It is Microsoft’s largest-ever acquisition.

Google introduces Android@Home: At its I/O Developers Conference yesterday, Google introduced Android@Home, an product that will let you control many of your electronic devices through one system. The platform attempts to create an open standard that will work with myriad devices, regardless of manufacturer. A release date for the platform has not yet been announced.

The company announced that there are currently 100 million active Android devices and 400,000 new Android gadgets are activated every day.

State of the Net: A Consumer Reports survey found that American Web users share sensitive information online and fail to take the proper precautions to protect it. According to the report, roughly 20 percent of Facebook users don’t use the site’s privacy controls and more than 5 million American households have faced some kind of abuse such as identity theft or bullying on Facebook in the past year.

By  |  08:49 AM ET, 05/11/2011

Tags:  AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Groupon, Google, Facebook

 
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