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FTC Antitrust Decision Looms Over Google

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Plus, the hardly-known video conferencing start-up that's powering Google and others, and more!

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This column highlights the most interesting and useful news and commentary on Google every week.

"Sue or Settle? Feds Face Crunch Time Over Google Antitrust Decision"
The Federal Trade Commission will make its decision on whether or not it slaps Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) with an antitrust lawsuit very soon, concluding the nearly two-year investigation into the Internet's most recognizable name. So, will it sue or will it settle? Four out of the five FTC commissioner have already said they believe Google has leveraged its search engines hefty market share to unfairly quash its rivals, and last week, the FTC reportedly gave Google an "ultimatum" to settle, or face charges. Recently, two members of Congress urged the FTC to drop the suit, calling the action "unwarranted." The favor of these Congresswomen might however be skewed by the fact that they represent Silicon Valley, and can list Google as major campaign donors. In addition, there is no definitive indication the FTC's case is solid enough to ensure a win, and a loss could prove detrimental for the government agency. Read more at Time.

"Google Inks Deal with European Music Publishers to Add 5.5M Songs"
Google now has licensing rights to sell the music of Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and many, many more artists after striking a deal with Armonia, a music alliance representing licensing groups across France, Italy, and Spain. With 5.5 million songs now available to Google, it can better compete with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes and Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) music services. Almost a year ago, Google introduced its own music sale platform via its online store Google Play. Read more at Tech Spot.

"Google Prepping Open Source Apple AirPlay Rival"
Apple would be wise to watch its back, after Google product manager Timbo Drayson said in an interview that the search engine giant will develop a competing product to Apple's wireless content sharing platform, Apple AirPlay. The biggest indicator of what a Google multi-device content sharing platform would look like can be seen in the upgraded YouTube app for Android. It allows users to easily transfer content between mobile devices and Google TV. Read more at ITProPortal.

"Google, Dish Held Talks to Launch Wireless Service"
According to an anonymous source, talks between Dish TV (NASDAQ:DISH) and Google are underway regarding the development of a wireless network partnership. However, these talks have been tagged simply as exploratory. Regardless, the prospect that Google is seeking to develop a wireless service is worth note. Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

"VeriFone Seen as Google Target as Shares Fall: Real M&A"
Google and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) may both be eyeing VeriFone Systems (NYSE:PAY), the United States' largest provider of storefront credit and debit card processing terminals. The increasing popularity of the competing startup Square Inc.'s smartphone/tablet based payment terminal has roused enough concern over investors to drive shares of VeriFone down 46%, or $2 billion, since April. Square isn't the only competitor threatening the payment provider: PayPal, Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU), GroupOn (NASDAQ:GRPN), and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), all offer products in the space. Read more at Bloomberg.

"This Video Company Powers Google Hangouts -- and Nintendo's Wii U"
What do Google Hangouts, Nintendo's (PINK:NTDOY) Wii U, Philips (NYSE:PHG) hospital monitors, and San Francisco startup Fuzebox have in common? They all utilize Vidyo, a little-known telepresence software company that is powering big companies. Founded in 2006, the company has raised $100 million in venture capital funding, is growing at a rate of 80% per a year, and already has 22 patents approved, with 54 more currently pending. What exactly makes Vidyo so special? It allows seamless cross-platform video conferencing, maintaining high quality regardless of whether connections are being made from desktops or tablets. It's also slashing the costs of this type of premium video conferencing, once reserved only for larger corporations who could afford to front the bill. Read more at ReadWrite.

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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