LEADING THE DAY: The House Judiciary competition subcommittee will hear from the chief executives of AT&T and T-Mobile parent company Deustche Telekom AG at a hearing examining how their proposed merger will affect competition in the mobile industry.
AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson will argue that the merger is good for customers, who he says will see better coverage and and more reliable service as a result of the merger. He will also highlight that the merger proposal has the support of nine state governors who have said the deal would help expand broadband coverage in rural areas.
On Wednesday, Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) both announced they are opposed to the deal. Conyers is the ranking member on the full House Judiciary committee; Markey sits on the House Energy and Commerce committee.
Google launching contactless payments: Google will announce a major contactless payment initiative today at an event in New York. This is my next confirmed that the company is planning a tap-to-pay service called Google Wallet, which will launch this summer. Retail partners include the Container Store; Google will likely install near-field communcation readers at stores across the country sometime around Sept. 1, the report said.
Facebook CEO talks privacy, streaming music: Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said at the eG8 Forum in Paris that Facebook is not actively trying to get users under 13 on to its site, and that the difficulty of regulating childrens’ online privacy will keep the site from making it a near-term priority.
In a conversation at the forum, Zuckerberg said that getting younger users onto the site is “just not top of the list of things for us to figure out right now,” though he said it may make sense to explore it in the future.
Zuckerberg also mentioned that he believes Facebook will focus on streaming music next. Shortly after that remark, a report about a possible deal between Facebook and Spotify appeared at Forbes. Citing “sources close to the deal,” the report said that users will be able to listen to the streaming-music site through Facebook with friends or alone.
Twitter faces controversy over UK super-injunction: Twitter’s battle in the UK over a super-injunction that was put in place to prevent a soccer player’s affair from getting into the press. Thousands of Twitter users have named the player, Ryan Gibbs, who has begun legal preceedings against Twitter to find out who publicly identified him.
The BBC interpreted remarks from Twitter’s European head Tony Wang on the subject to mean that Twitter users who broke the injunction may face court. In Twitter messages Wednesday, Twitter ‘s general counsel Alex Macgillivray said Wang’s statements had been taken out of context and linked to previous Twitter statements which support open expression on the Internet.
Franken asks Apple, Google for app privacy policies:Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) wrote to the chief executives of Apple and Google to ask that they require privacy policies for all location-aware apps in their mobile application stores.
“Apple and Google have each said time and again that they are committed to protecting users’ privacy,” Franken wrote. “This is an easy opportunity for your companies to put that commitment into action.”