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Timothy B. Lee

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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 04:30 PM ET, 04/27/2012

The Circuit: Yahoo adds claims to Facebook suit, FTC hires top attorney, Google WiFi investigation closed

Yahoo adds claims to Facebook suit: On Friday, Yahoo added to its claims of infringement against Facebook in addition to denying that it violates any of the patents named in the social network’s countersuit.

The additional claims involve the patents for “System and Method to Determine Validity of and Interaction on a Network” and the “System and Method Allowing Advertisers to Manage Search Listings in Pay for Placement Search System Using Grouping,” which the company says is violated by Facebook Ads.

FTC hires top litigator for Google probe: The Federal Trade Commission has hired outside litigator Beth Wilkinson to lead a probe into Google.

The Associated Press reports that Wilkinson’s hiring should not be interpreted as a signal that the agency will sue Google.

“We are delighted to have someone of her caliber helping us on such an important matter for the Commission,” said Rich Feinstein, Director of the Bureau of Competition in a statement to The Post.

Wilkinson is a well-known litigator, most prominently for being the lead prosecutor on the Oklahoma City Bombing case, U.S. v. McVeigh & Nichols. Wilkinson has also acted as lead counsel for companies such as Pfizer and Philip Morris USA, according to her biography page on the Web site for the D.C.-based law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

Google responds to WiFi fine: Google said Thursday that it will pay a fine leveled by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC leveled the fine against Google for impeding the agency’s investigation into the company’s accidental data collection from Street View cars.

“While Google disagrees with the premise of the Notice and many of its factual recitals, Google has determined to pay the forfeiture proposed in the Notice in order to put this investigation behind it,” the company said.

In its filing, Google said that it had cooperated with the investigation and was glad to have the matter closed.

“As the FCC said in their report, we provided all the materials necessary for them to conduct their investigation.  We agree with the FCC's conclusion that we did not break the law, but believe that we did cooperate in their investigation, and we made that clear in our response,” Google said in a statement.

LightSquared investors call for Falcone to step aside: Some investors in LightSquared have called for Philip Falcone, the chief executive of its main backer Harbinger Capital, to step aside as the public face of the company, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Investors, the report said, could balk if Falcone decides to stay on and the firm may end up filing for bankruptcy protection.

FCC cramming: On Friday, the FCC adopted rules to ban “cramming,” or the addition of unannounced and unexplained fees to phone bills, from landline telephones.

Telephone providers will now be required to notify customers that they have the ability to block the third-party charges. The changes also adopt stronger language in the commission’s requirement that such charges be listed separately. The commission will also examine whether telephone companies should be required to get consent from consumers before adding the charges to phone bills.

By  |  04:30 PM ET, 04/27/2012

 
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