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There May Be a Bidding War for T-Mobile There May Be a Bidding War for T-Mobile

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There May Be a Bidding War for T-Mobile

By Laura Ryan (@NJLJRyan), with help from Alex Brown (@AlexBrownNJ), Brendan Sasso (@BrendanSasso), and Dustin Volz (@dnvolz)

TODAY'S TOP PARAGRAPH: French carrier Iliad wants to buy T-Mobile. A federal judge ordered Microsoft to turn over emails stored abroad. House Republicans will investigate the FCC's decision to grant an auction waiver to a private equity fund owned by an Obama donor.

 

TOP NEWS

FRENCH CARRIER BEATS SPRINT TO T-MOBILE BID: Sprint has some competition for ownership of T-Mobile. The French telecom company Iliad said Thursday that it offered $15 billion in cash for a 56.6 percent stake in T-Mobile.

Iliad noted the deal "should not raise any antitrust issue" since the company doesn't have a presence in the U.S. yet. The expected bid from Sprint, on the other hand, would have to survive a tough antitrust review because it would decrease the number of national U.S. carriers from four to three. Sprint shares slipped 5 percent on the news.

But T-Mobile executives consider Iliad's bid "inferior" to the SoftBank offer, sources told Bloomberg. SoftBank's deal would reportedly value T-Mobile at $32 billion.

 

JUDGE ORDERS MICROSOFT TO TURN OVER EMAILS: U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ordered Microsoft to turn over emails stored on servers in Ireland. She reasoned that the location of the data is irrelevant when considering who owns that data—in this case, a U.S.-based corporation.

Microsoft said it will appeal the ruling, and AT&T and Verizon issued statements supporting the tech company. (Volz, NJ)

HOUSE PROBES FCC WAIVER FOR OBAMA DONOR: The House Energy and Commerce Committee will investigate the decision-making process behind the Federal Communications Commission's move to grant an auction rules waiver to a company owned by a major Obama donor. The investigation is in response to Bloomberg's report last week that the FCC gave a waiver to Grain Management that lets it qualify as a small business in the upcoming spectrum auction, potentially giving it a leg up during bidding.

Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy asked FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler for a list of documents relating to the commission's decision to grant the waiver.

 

An FCC spokesman said Thursday that the action followed proper procedure and is "consistent with Congress's directive to design auctions that encourage participation among a wide variety of companies."

NETFLIX VISITS THE FCC: Netflix Director of Global Public Policy Corie Wright stopped by the FCC to reiterate her company's views on net neutrality, according to a regulatory disclosure filed Thursday. In separate meetings with Commissioner Mike O'Rielly and advisers to Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Ajit Pai, Wright emphasized that ISPs should not be able to charge websites for interconnection fees.

She said the relationship between an broadband customer and website is analogous to a traditional phone call where the caller assumes the financial responsibility for the call, "no matter which party did the most 'talking' on the call."

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TOP LINES

TWITTER REVEALS SPIKE IN GOVERNMENT DATA REQUESTS: In its biannual transparency report, Twitter said it saw a 46 percent increase in requests for data in the first half of 2014.

CIA ADMITS TO HACKING INTO SENATE COMPUTERS: And Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, facing a tough reelection, is calling for CIA Director John Brennan's resignation. (Volz)

E.U. REGULATORS TARGET ANDROID: Antitrust officials think Google uses Android to promote its own apps—and has deals with other companies to keep rival apps hidden. (Reuters)

ZAMBIA GETS FREE INTERNET THANKS TO FACEBOOK: The social site's Internet.org coalition is releasing an app that will provide access to core Web services. (Mat Honan, Wired)

TIME WARNER LOWERS REVENUE ESTIMATES AS DODGERS TENSIONS MOUNT: The company has failed to reach deals to distribute its Los Angeles Dodgers channel, and it's telling investors to prepare for lowered revenue as a result. (Joe Flint, LAT)

LOST SUBSCRIBERS DOESN'T MEAN LOST REVENUE: That's because pay-TV companies are just charging their customers more. (Mike Snider, USA Today)

EBAY TOUTS DIVERSITY: The company says 42 percent of its employees are women and 7 percent are black—far better than many other tech companies. (Brian Womack, Bloomberg)

NASA TAKES HEAT FOR ASTEROID MISSION: Many in Congress, along with some scientists and former NASA officials, say the plan to redirect an asteroid will accomplish little. (Eric Berger, Houston Chronicle)

DRUG SALES DOUBLE ON 'HIDDEN' INTERNET: The "dark net"—hidden from search engines—has seen ads for drugs skyrocket in the last year, even after the Silk Road bust. (Angus Crawford, BBC)

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Amy, VP of Communications

I read the Tech Edge every morning."

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