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EU seeks rivals' feedback on Facebook, WhatsApp deal

Illustration photo shows "likes" on WhatsApp's Facebook page displayed on a laptop screen in ParisBy Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators are asking Facebook's rivals and telecoms operators whether the world No. 1 online social network's proposed $19 billion bid for mobile messaging startup WhatsApp will lead to price hikes and curb innovation. The move came after Facebook sought EU approval for the deal, the largest in its 10-year history, which will give it a strong foothold in the fast-growing mobile messaging market and pit it against telecoms companies. The European Commission said on Monday it will decide by Oct. 3 whether to clear the deal unconditionally, demand concessions or extend the preliminary review into a wider probe. In a questionnaire sent to third parties and seen by Reuters, the EU regulator asked if the deal would have a negative, neutral or positive impact on users and customers in mobile messaging and social networks.

09/01/2014 01:47 PM

China gives Microsoft 20 days to provide explanation in anti-trust probe

People visit the Microsoft booth during the 2014 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in TaipeiA Chinese anti-trust regulator said on Monday it has given Microsoft Corp 20 days to reply to queries on the compatibility of its Windows operating system and Office software suite amid a probe into the world's largest software company. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) questioned Microsoft Vice President David Chen and gave the company a deadline to make an explanation, the agency said in a short statement on its website. Microsoft is one of at least 30 foreign companies that have come under scrutiny by China's anti-monopoly regulators as the government seeks to enforce its six-year old antitrust law. According to a state media report on Monday, Microsoft's use of verification codes also spurred complaints from Chinese companies.

09/01/2014 06:00 AM

New Apple iPhone to have 'mobile wallet' function: Bloomberg

The Apple logo is pictured on the front of a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco(Reuters) - Apple Inc plans to enable its next iPhone to become a mobile wallet by allowing owners to securely make mobile payments in a store with the touch of a finger, Bloomberg said on Sunday, citing a person familiar with the situation. The agreement includes participation by Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc and American Express Co and will be announced Sept. 9 along with unveiling of the next iPhone, according to the source, who Bloomberg said asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

09/01/2014 04:47 AM

Swatch prefers go-it-alone route for smartwatch plans

The logo of Swiss watchmaker Swatch is seen on the door of a Swatch watches shop in StrasbourgBy Silke Koltrowitz BIEL (Switzerland) (Reuters) - Swatch Group is happy to go it alone with a launch next year of watches with "smart" features to compete with so-called wearable gadgets from the big tech companies, a market potentially worth $93 billion. Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek said these new watches might allow the wearer to count the number of steps they take and calories they burn. "All the big technology firms want to work with us and I don't rule out that we are or could be collaborating in some areas. Apple Inc has just invited media to a "special event" next month, fuelling speculation it might present a much-anticipated "iWatch." The possibility of an iWatch launch is partly responsible for Swatch shares losing almost 15 percent so far this year, lagging a 3 percent rise in the European sector.

08/31/2014 05:20 AM

Telecom Italia in a bind after losing GVT bid battle

People walk past a Telecom Italia phone booth in RomeBy Leila Abboud, Pamela Barbaglia and Stephen Jewkes PARIS/LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) - Telecom Italia has lost a promising path to earnings growth by failing to secure Brazilian broadband business GVT and may now turn from hunter to hunted in a fast-consolidating telecoms industry. Winning the auction for French media company Vivendi's GVT was vital for both Telecom Italia and its rival, Spain's Telefonica, as their European markets have been shrinking. Italy was gripped by a mobile price war for much of last year, revenue is falling and competition remains tough. Telecom Italia lost out to Telefonica as it could not afford to top its 7.45-billion-euro offer for GVT.

08/31/2014 10:00 AM

Exclusive: Bitcoin promoter to plead guilty to unlicensed money transmission

Bitcoin Foundation Vice Chairman Shrem exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New YorkBy Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. Shrem, the former vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, will plead guilty next Thursday in New York federal court to unlicensed money transmission, Marc Agnifilo, his lawyer told Reuters in an email. Prosecutors had previously charged Shrem with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, money laundering conspiracy and failing to file suspicious activity reports with government banking authorities. Federal authorities shut down Silk Road last year, though a new Internet marketplace under the same name was launched in November.

08/29/2014 08:25 PM

4 hilariously awful Kickstarters that you will not believe are real

4 hilariously awful Kickstarters that you will not believe are realKickstarter has become a wonderful way to watch hilariously deluded people fail to achieve their completely ridiculous dreams. Thanks to the dedicated crew at Reddit’s /r/shittykickstarters community, we’ve found for more incredible anti-gems for you to check out that will hopefully never find enough suckers to get successfully funded. Free AC Wow! Free air conditioning! That sounds awesome! Tell me how you do it! Oh wait. You just drilled holes into the top of your fridge and used some tubes to funnel the freezer’s cool air through an air conditioner unit? And you think this is actually going to save you money without completely wrecking your freezer? Oh my. The Free AC Kickstarter project has mercifully been halted, likely after the inventor

09/01/2014 04:15 PM

Apple 'actively investigating' alleged hack that revealed nude celebrity photos

Apple 'actively investigating' alleged hack that revealed nude celebrity photosApple says it is "actively investigating" an alleged exploit to its iCloud service that allowed hackers to post dozens of private celebrity photos to public message boards this weekend. "We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report," said an Apple spokesperson to Recode. Among the pictures posted to the Reddit and 4chan message boards were nude photos of celebrities Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, and numerous other models, actresses, and athletes.

09/01/2014 04:14 PM

EU urged to convert TV frequencies to mobile broadband

Former World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy's report on the changing face of the media says the 700 Mhz spectrum should be "repurposed" for wireless broadbandThe EU should convert a whole spectrum of television and radio frequencies for use by mobile broadband by around 2020 as smartphone use soars, a report said on Monday. Former World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy's report on the changing face of the media said the 700 Mhz spectrum should be "repurposed" for wireless broadband. Lamy, a former EU trade commissioner, told reporters his was "a sort of peacemaking mission" between broadcasters and the mobile phone industry over use of the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) spectrum. He wanted to limit the impact on radio and TV broadcasters while freeing up space for the rapidly growing use of mobile phones and the Internet in general, particularly for viewing content once only available on TV.

09/01/2014 04:01 PM

Google set to reveal Android One budget phone hardware in India on September 15th

Google set to reveal Android One budget phone hardware in India on September 15th

09/01/2014 03:58 PM

​Iliad allies could sweeten bid to buy T-Mobile USA

Iliad's Paris headquarters sport the Free brand used for its ISP and carrier businesses.The French company doesn't want to pay more on its own, but is rounding up allies to help persuade Deutsche Telekom to sell its controlling interest in the US carrier.>

09/01/2014 03:35 PM

Even more proof that Motorola is making the next Nexus smartphone

Even more proof that Motorola is making the next Nexus smartphoneAfter numerous reports revealed that the Motorola Shamu is actually the next Nexus smartphone, and that the Nexus 6 smartphone may be quietly released as the Nexus X later this year, Phone Arena has discovered even more proof that Motorola is indeed working on such a device. FROM EARLIER: Two very different Nexus X models might launch this year A prototype Motorola Shamu handset (model number XT1112) has been listed on Zauba, a website that tracks imports and exports in India. The listing does not mention any details about the device, but it does note the Shamu comes from the United States and it’s being shipped to India “for demo purposes.” Furthermore, the shipping manifest says that two Shamu units

09/01/2014 03:30 PM

John Oliver turns to YouTube to thank, spank commenters

John Oliver turns to YouTube to thank, spank commentersIn a YouTube special, the HBO comedian marvels at the commentary he incites. It's already received some erudite comments.>

09/01/2014 03:28 PM

UKTV will copy Amazon, ask viewers which shows it should make

UKTV will copy Amazon, ask viewers which shows it should make

09/01/2014 02:57 PM

This iPhone case makes it easier than ever for thieves to steal your ATM PIN

This iPhone case makes it easier than ever for thieves to steal your ATM PINIn light of this weekend’s massive celebrity photo leak, mobile security is bound to be a major topic of discussion in the weeks to come. How can we keep our private data safe if actors and actresses whose lives often revolve around keeping things private are this vulnerable? With the amount of information we store on our phones, in our email, in cloud storage, we’re always going to be at risk, but there are ways that hackers can get private data from us without accessing any of our devices. At the beginning of the year, thermal imaging company FLIR announced the FLIR One, an iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s-compatible case with a infrared camera. Although there are plenty of legitimate uses for an infrared camera, there

09/01/2014 02:45 PM

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