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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 01:45 PM ET, 05/20/2013

The Circuit: Yahoo buys Tumblr

Yahoo buys Tumblr: Yahoo announced Monday that it has paid $1.1 billion for the blogging site, confirming reports that first broke on All Things Digital. The blogging platform, which hosts approximately 100 million blogs, will be maintained as a separate company, Yahoo said, and Tumblr founder Dave Karp will remain as the head of the blogging platform.

The site skews toward a younger audience — an asset that’s clearly very attractive Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer.

Mayer acknowledged that the companies are different, but said that she thinks they fit well together.

“On many levels, Tumblr and Yahoo! couldn’t be more different, but, at the same time, they couldn’t be more complementary,” Mayer said in a release. “Both companies are homes for brands — established and emerging. And, fundamentally, Tumblr and Yahoo! are both all about users, design, and finding surprise and inspiration amidst the everyday.”

Corporate taxes: Apple chief executive Tim Cook is coming to the Hill for a hearing on corporate taxes Tuesday, and will be armed with his own proposal about how the U.S. can simplify its tax code.

Meanwhile, Google and Amazon are facing criticism from British prime minister David Cameron for their own tax affairs, as the Guardian reported. and a committee in the House of Commons criticized Google for being “unethical” about the way it handles its taxes. In response, Google chairman Eric Schmidt wrote an op-ed in the British paper, the Observer over the weekend, noting that Google pays most of its taxes in the U.S. because that’s where it generates the most profits. In a three-point response, he said that companies should pay tax on profit, not revenue; that politicians set the tax rules, and finally that he agrees there needs to be debate about corporate taxes..

“[Given] the intensity of the debate, not just in the UK but also in America and elsewhere, international tax law could almost certainly benefit from reform.” Schmidt said.

Acting FCC chair sends note to staff: Acting Federal Communications Chairman Mignon Clyburn sent a note to the agency’s staff Monday in order to get everyone “on the same page.” Clyburn is in charge of the FCC while nominee Tom Wheeler waits for Senate confirmation.

In her note, Clyburn said that she will focus on giving the agency ”forward momentum” so that it will not miss a beat throughout the transition.

“[If] asked about my goals as I take this new position, I would answer without hesitation – its hallmarks will be continuity and progress,” Clyburn said.

YouTube turns eight: Google’s YouTube video site celebrated its eighth birthday Sunday, saying that over 100 hours of video are uploaded to its site per minute.

The company also said that more than 1 billion people come to YouTube each month — “almost one out of every two people on the Internet.”

YouTube has recently taken steps to bump up its revenue, allowing users to pay for subscriptions to certain channels — a move that makes Google a more serious player in the growing online video space.

By  |  01:45 PM ET, 05/20/2013

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