The Washington Post

The Circuit: Google buys video, shopping sites; Senate votes for cloture on patent reform; Warner, Facebook start movie rentals

Google buys Next New Networks, BeatThatQuote: On a spending spree, Google has made two high-profile acquisitions, one for its YouTube division and one to add to its roster of shopping applications. YouTube acquired Next New Networks, a service designed to produce and distribute professional quality online videos. Google also created a new division, called YouTube Next, which is aimed at helping content creators produce higher-quality content for the video site through grants and training. According to the New York Times, Google will pay a little under $50 million for the company.

BeatThatQuote, a UK company, was reportedly bought for around $61.5 million . The site gives price comparisons for goods and services in the UK. In a statement on the company’s Web site, BeatThatQuote Managing Director John Paleomylites said, “We are confident that by combining's expertise in UK financial products with Google's technology, we'll accelerate innovation in this field, benefiting consumers and the companies offering these products.”

Senate votes for cloture on patent reform act:The Senate voted Monday to end debate on the patent reform act, known as the America Invents Act. A vote for cloture means that the final vote will have to pass with a simple majority. Among the act’s chief proposals is a shift to a first to file system for awarding patents instead of the country’s current first to invent system. The vote for cloture passed with a vote of 87 to 3.

Warner Bros., Facebook begin offering rentals: Facebook and Warner Brothers Studios announced that the companies would begin offering movie rentals on the social network. Facebook users can use the network’s credits to rent a movie for 30 credits (about 3 dollars) and watch it within 48 hours. Warner Brothers said that they will be adding titles for rentals and purchase in the coming months. The service currently is only available in the U.S.

Android passes RIM, Apple in second market survey: In a second market survey, Android has taken the lead as the most-used platform. A Nielsen survey last week found that Android eked out a lead as the most popular mobile platform among new users. A comScore report released yesterday also found that Android is leading the pack in the U.S., having overtaken Research in Motion’s Blackberry platform and extending its lead over Apple’s iOS. Android has a 31.2 percent market share, compared to RIM’s 30.4 percent and Apple’s 24.7 percent share.

China to expand Internet administration: The Chinese government has vowed to expand its administration of the Internet and continue to build upon its fiber-optic infrastructure. The government made the pledges in a report released during the country’s National People’s Congress, an English version of which was posted by the Wall Street Journal. In a report from PCWorld, Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing's Marbridge Consulting said the Chinese government is expanding the number of services over which it has regulation. The report also pledged to add 1 million kilometers of fiber optic cable to its country’s infrastructure.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.


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