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January 3, 2013

Technology News Briefs — Jan. 3, 2013

Intel to break Into Web TV this Year

Intel’s plans for developing an Internet-based TV service in 2012 were put on hold due to delays reaching agreements with media companies, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

A source told the WSJ the company was likely to launch the service by mid -2013, while another source indicated the service would not be ready until the fourth quarter due to “delays in reaching content-licensing agreements with entertainment companies that own major TV channels.”

Many in the industry are scoffing at Intel’s plans partly due to its lack of experience in providing products directly to end users, according to the WSJ report.

The WSJ cites content licensing as another problem.

“Entertainment companies are typically loath to strike deals with Web TV services, fearing they could undercut the existing lucrative pay-TV ecosystem,” the article says.

So far, Intel has reached at least one content deal.

FTC Pushing to Settle Google Anti-trust Investigation

The FTC is rushing to settle the anti-trust investigation of Google this week before the departure of Commissioner Tom Rosch, sources told Politico.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz apparently is pushing for resolution before Rosch, who is known to be a swing-vote, is replaced by Joshua Wright, who was confirmed by the Senate Jan. 1.

The settlement is thought to be similar to an agreement discussed by the FTC and Google in December. As part of the agreement – which ­requires the approval of the five-member commission — Google would have limits placed on its ability to use bits and pieces from other websites. It would also have to agree to make it easier for marketers to transfer their online ads to other services.

Google has been trying to avoid such an agreement, pushing instead for concessions that would appear to be “voluntary.” The search engine, sources have said, is worried a formal settlement agreement with the FTC could harm its business prospects.

Amazon Wins First Round in Legal Battle With Apple

A judge has granted Amazon’s request to dismiss Apple’s claim that the e-commerce giant’s use of the phrase “app store” for Android device software is false advertising.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton on Jan. 2 threw out one claim in Apple’s lawsuit that accuses Amazon of trademark violation and unfair competition over the Amazon Appstore for Android.

Amazon opened the store in March to sell applications for the Kindle Fire and devices running Google’s Android software.

“The court finds no support for the proposition that Amazon has expressly or impliedly communicated that its Appstore for Android possesses the characteristics and qualities that the public has come to expect from the Apple APP Store and/or Apple products,” Hamilton was quoted by Bloomberg.

Hamilton only ruled on Amazon’s request to eliminate the false advertising claim.