OVERNIGHT TECH: FCC extends review of Verizon-cable deal

The commission said the delay in receiving documents from the companies set back its review by at least three weeks and also affected the ability of third parties to review the information.

The deal would allow Verizon to buy a block of wireless spectrum from Comcast, Cox, Time Warner and Bright House. The companies have also agreed to cross-sell each other's services. 

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"Verizon Wireless strongly believes it has made the case that putting unused spectrum to use to meet consumer needs is in the public interest," a Verizon spokesman said in a statement. "This brief extension keeps the review process moving and on track, while providing additional time for parties to review the submitted documents."

Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge, which opposes the deal, said he expected the commission to "take whatever time it needs for all interested parties to conduct a complete and thorough review of the voluminous documents submitted and for the Commission to consider carefully in their deliberations the arguments of the transaction opponents."

There are now 98 days remaining on the FCC's "shot clock" for completing its review of the deal.

Markey renews call for hearing on Google Wi-Fi snooping: Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) issued a statement on Tuesday, again calling on Congress to hold a hearing on Google's collection of data from unprotected Wi-Fi networks.

"Google needs to fully explain to Congress and the public what it knew about the collection of data through its Street View program, why it impeded the FCC investigation, and what it is doing to ensure appropriate privacy safeguards are in place to protect consumer’s personal information," Markey said. "I once again call for an immediate Congressional hearing to get to the bottom of this very serious situation.”

From 2007 to 2010, Google cars collected data from nearby Wi-Fi networks as they drove through neighborhoods, taking pictures for the company's Google Maps Street View project. The data included Internet activity, passwords and other personal information.

An FCC probe was unable to conclude whether Google violated wiretapping laws, but the agency fined Google $25,000 for failing to fully cooperate with investigators. An unredacted version of the commission's report indicated that the data collection was the deliberate act of a single engineer.  

Markey first called for a congressional probe of the incident on April 17.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said he is "livid" over a New York Times story detailing how Apple avoids billions of dollars in taxes.

A coalition of public interest groups told the FCC that government agencies should never be allowed to shutdown cell phone service, even in emergencies.

The head of the Consumer Electronics Association accused the head of the National Association of Broadcasters of discouraging television stations from participating in planned auctions of airwaves.