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The Circuit: Tech companies fear supply problems, Groupon’s IPO and new service, Yahoo may be close to Delicious deal

LEADING THE DAY: Five components in the iPad 2 were supplied by Japanese companies, according to teardown from iSuppli Market Intelligence. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Thursday that he believes Apple’s supply line will be temporarily affected by the quake but that the company will not suffer serious setbacks.

Over at Forbes, Eric Savitz has a rundown of Japanese companies that released statements on their businesses Thursday. Cabot, Vitesse Semiconductor, Amkor Technology, Vishay, Trend Micro and Maxim all report minimal damage and no employee injuries, but they say delays due to affected supply lines and limited power are possible.

The Associated Press weighs in on how Honda, Toyota and Nissan are looking to find alternative parts suppliers after being forced to shut down production after the quake. All three companies have stopped production. Toyota said its production is halted until at least next Tuesday; Honda has extended its halt on production to March 23.

Groupon’s latest valuation at $25 billion: In talks about an initial public offering, Groupon is reportedly been given a valuation of $25 billion, Bloomberg reported. As Techland pointed out, that’s more than Google’s IPO valuation of $24.6 billion.In an interview with Bloomberg, Groupon founder Andrew Mason talked about the company’s new instant search service, Groupon Now, which he hopes will give the company an advantage over a growing field of competitors.

Yahoo said to be close to Delicious deal: Yahoo might be close to closing a sale for its Delicious bookmarking service, Business Insider reported Thursday night. There’s no word on who’s buying the service — the unnamed source in the report says only that it is a “strategic partner.” StumbleUpon, which was bought back from eBay in 2009 by its founders, has been named as a possible buyer, though that has not been confirmed. Yahoo’s plan to “sunset” the service leaked out in December, prompting outcry from the service’s loyal users. The deal, reportedly for about $1 to $2 million dollars, is codenamed “Project Dragon.”

Microsoft brings down spambot: Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit scored a big victory against spam by taking out a notorious spambot called Rustock, the company announced in a blog post on Thursday. According to Microsoft, the spambot had infected approximately 1 million computers and could send billions of spam e-mails per day. The bot was officially taken offline yesterday after the end of a federal investigation into the bot’s operators, which was initiated by a Microsoft suit.

Apple may still be mulling NFC in iPhone 5: Forbes reported that it’s possible Apple will include near-field communications technology in its iPhone 5 after all. The report’s source, an NFC entrepreneur with a reliable source at Apple, said that he and others in the industry are prepping for additional NFC traffic following the release of the iPhone 5. The Independent reported earlier this week that Apple, concerned with a “lack of a clear standard across the industry,” was nixing its plans to put near-field technology in its handsets. The iPhone 5 is likely due this summer.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.


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