Facebook launches mobile ad network

Facebook rolled out a service that it sees as a system for distributing ads across a network of mobile applications, opening the door to a new source of revenue for the social network.

The service, which the world’s No. 1 social network has been working on for some time, allows mobile-app makers to insert various types of ads within their software, with Facebook sharing advertising dollars with the developers.

“This is really the first time that we’re going to help you monetize in a serious way on mobile,” Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said at the company’s developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Facebook also described new features that make it easier for users to limit how much personal information they share with third-party mobile apps, and that let users log into social apps without providing their identities.

A revamped Facebook log-in screen for independent mobile apps will let users select which bits of personal information stored on the social network, such as their e-mail addresses, birthdays and items that they have “liked” on Facebook, can be accessed by any particular app.

— Reuters

Bailout of GM cost taxpayers $11 billion

A new report says taxpayers lost $11.2 billion on the government’s bailout of General Motors.

The estimate comes from a quarterly report Wednesday to Congress by a government watchdog that oversees the bailout, and is up from a previous estimate of $10.5 billion.

The Detroit automaker needed the $49.5 billion bailout to survive its bankruptcy restructuring in 2009. The company went public again in November 2010, and the government sold its last shares of GM in December. The report says the Treasury Department wrote off an $826 million administrative claim against GM in March, ending its involvement with the company.

In an interview last year, Special Inspector General Christy Romero said there was “no question” the department and the taxpayers would lose money on GM.

In July, the agency said the government lost $2.9 billion on the bailout of Chrysler, which cost $12.5 billion.

Only one auto-related company is still partly under government control: auto lender Ally Financial. Ally is the former financing business of GM, and last month it went public again with an IPO that raised $2.38 billion. The Treasury Department owns a 17 percent stake in the company.

— Associated Press

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