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Executive Notes

Comcast merger focuses on Internet video.
The emerging market of Internet video is a chief concern for Justice Department staff reviewing the deal, The Wall Street Journal reports on Monday. "The agency's antitrust division has become interested in finding out whether Comcast and other cable and satellite giants are trying to lock up distribution rights to television programming on the Internet, which would block potential competition, according to people familiar with the matter." The article says this is one of the first times regulators will have such a significant effect on the shape of the media business.

Secondary liability under scrutiny in copyright pact.
"The U.S. may remove controversial language from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that would have made Internet firms liable for intellectual property rights infringements by individuals," Tech Daily Dose reported, citing a trade pub. The international negotiations are aimed at preventing piracy and standardizing the rules for copyrighted material. "The secondary liability provision has been favored by the American entertainment industry but has been opposed by Internet firms and activists in addition to some ACTA negotiating partners."

Bad circuit boards caused IT failure in Virginia. The massive shutdown of state government networks in Virginia last week was traced to two circuit boards installed and maintained by EMC, a subcontractor of Northrop Grumman. Twenty-five agencies and the governor's office were affected by the outage starting Wednesday, leaving the state unable to process jobless claims, issue welfare payments or drivers licenses. A Virginia official said Northrop will have to pay a six-figure fine and may have to reimburse the Commonwealth for the service interruptions. Most state agencies are back online as of Monday, but the DMV will be unable to start issuing licenses until Tuesday.

Industry notes

Social media can be annoying, report finds.
The Washington Post looks at how social-networking apps make it "almost inevitable that users will come to feel overwhelmed by interruptions, updates and status reports." But users are finding a way around it, using apps that "discreetly let users be just a tad antisocial on" social networks. For instance, an app called Twittelator Pro allows users to mute other people's tweets without un-following them.

Cisco possibly eying Skype.
"Cisco has made an offer to acquire Skype before they complete their IPO process, says one of our more reliable sources. We have not been able to confirm this rumor one way or another via other sources, which isn’t surprising. A company in lock down during the IPO process is usually even more tight lipped than normal," says TechCrunch.

Google expects antitrust review of ITA Software acquisition.
The Department of Justice has indicated it will review Google's proposed acquisition of ITA Software, which makes airfare-search software used by online travel sites and airlines. Regulators will likely examine whether Google's dominance of the search industry will give it an unfair advantage in the fiercely competitive online travel market. Google said it expects to gain the government's approval.


"Put it away."

—Barbara Grassley on how she feels about her husband, Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyState cites 38 people for violations in Clinton email review Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings GOP cautions Graham against hauling Biden before Senate MORE (R-Iowa), using Twitter on a frequent basis.


REFERENCE — "It weighs in at more than 130 pounds, but the authoritative guide to the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary, may eventually slim down to nothing," the AP reports. The publisher of the 126-year old dictionary said Sunday that the popularity of its online product make it unsure whether it will produce a paper copy of its next edition.