LEADING THE DAY: President Obama appointed Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo to an advisory committee on national security telecommunications, deepening the relationship between the White House and Silicon Valley, the Washington Post reported.
Two political veterans — former Bush aide Joel Kaplan and Myriah Jordan, former general counsel to Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) — were hired by Facebook on Thursday.
Bloomberg challenges Comcast: Claiming that Comcast has ignored one of its merger conditions, Bloomberg LP told the cable operator it intends to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. Bloomberg said that Comcast has not included independent news channels in its channel lineups, something it was ordered to do in order to preserve unfairly granting an advantage to news networks affiliated with Comcast NBC Universal.
Comcast has 10 days to respond to the notice before Bloomberg may file its formal complaint.
PayPal sues Google over digital wallet: PayPal has sued Google alleging that the Google and exec Osama Bedier “misappropriated PayPal trade secrets” related to mobile payments. Bedier left PayPal for Google in January, at a time the online payment service says Bedier was leading negotiations for a partnership between Google and PayPal.
He was recruited by former PayPal employee and Google VP of Commerce Stephanie Tilenius, who has also been named in the suit for breaking her contractual agreement not to solicit and recruit PayPal employees.
On Thursday, Bedier and Tilenius were both on hand to unveil Google’s new Google Wallet program, which enables consumers to use a cellphone as a wallet.
AT&T, T-Mobile face tough crowd at House hearing:The chief executives of AT&T and T-Mobile faced skeptical lawmakers at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing Thursday addressing how the companies’ proposed merger will affect mobile competition. The executives faced questions about several promises they’ve made, including whether the deal is necessary to expand high-speed broadband to 97 percent of the country, The Washington Post reported.
Lawmakers from both parties have expressed misgivings about the deal. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) questioned the deal, saying, “There are legitimate questions about whether this merger could move the wireless market past the anti-competitive tipping point.”
Earlier this week, Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) urged regulators to block the deal.
Reel Grrls raises thousands after Comcast tiff: Nonprofit organization Reel Grrls has raised over $22,000 from over 600 people across the country, the organization said. More than 500 of those contributions have come from new donors.
The nonprofit shot into the spotlight last week when Comcast pulled its funding after an employee put up a Twitter message criticizing FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker’s announcement that she will move to the cable company after her resignation. Comcast offered to reinstate the funding, but the camp rejected the money and said it will focus on developing films about free press issues.
Wyden will block IP bill: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said he will place a hold on the PROTECT IP Act, The bill, which unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary committee Thursday, has come under fire from electronic freedom advocacy groups who say it goes too far by allowing the government to blacklist Web sites believed to be hosting counterfeited material.”
“I understand and agree with the goal of the legislation, to protect intellectual property and combat commerce in counterfeit goods, but I am not willing to muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth to achieve this objective,” Wyden said. He previously placed a hold on the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, or COICA for similar reasons.
Microsoft board backs Ballmer: Microsoft’s board stood behind chief executive Steve Ballmer after an influential hedge fund manager called for his resignation, Reuters reported.
Chairman and co-founder Bill Gates joins the other eight members of Microsoft's board in supporting Ballmer, a source close to the board told Reuters on Thursday. Gates recently publicly supported Ballmer’s decision to buy the internet telephone company Skype for $8.5 billion, the largest acquisition in company history.