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Research Roundup #2

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It’s time for another edition of the Research Roundup, with a fresh set of papers by authors outside of TPI. In recent weeks we’ve seen a wealth of articles relating to patent and copyright, so today’s group is a bit heavy on intellectual property. Additionally, a few interesting papers deal with online business models. Take a look.

(Click through to the full post to see the list of papers and abstract excerpts)

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Social Networking Privacy Practices – Giving Behavioral Advertising a Good Name

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Ever since Facebook introduced its new personalization programs, users, privacy groups, and lawmakers have complained that Facebook’s privacy controls are overly complex and change too frequently.  Thus, users who are not sufficiently alert may unintentionally release personal information to people who shouldn’t have that information.  A lot of people are rapidly becoming more alert. In response to the flurry of criticism and, perhaps, to forestall government action, Facebook just announced that it will introduce new privacy controls that it hopes will be more transparent and easier to navigate. Google, faced […]

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Electronic Health Records: Should We Subsidize Activities That Would Take Place Anyway?

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The American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association along with some 50 smaller health groups have protested that the government’s proposed definition of “meaningful use” is too hard to achieve.  At issue are $14 billion to $27 billion in federal incentive payments for qualifying health care providers, i.e. those who meet all requirements for meaningful use. The groups say the proposed criteria push for too much, too soon and the program should reward providers for steps they already are taking to streamline record keeping. Whatever one’s views about the […]

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The FCC’s New Wireless Competition Report: The Right Way to Look at the Industry

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“If we had any more innovation [in wireless] I think our heads would explode.” – Professor Gerald Faulhaber, comment at wireless conference in Berkeley, April 2010. Hats off to the FCC for its new approach to evaluating wireless competition.  Its latest report on wireless competition explicitly recognizes that wireless services now include such a broad range of industries, activities, and linkages to other sectors that it no longer makes sense to think of wireless as a single, overarching “industry.”  Many observers believe—happily or indignantly, depending on who they are—that by […]

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FTC Clears Google-AdMob Deal

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The FTC today cleared Google’s acquisition of AdMob – a good decision – stating that “the Commission voted unanimously to close its investigation of Google’s acquisition of AdMob because it lacked reason to believe that the transaction would likely result in a substantial lessening of competition, especially in light of marketplace developments that occurred during the course of its investigation….In any nascent market there will be uncertainty about the path of competition and the durability of early leads in market share.”  This is the difficulty of applying the merger guidelines […]

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Farewell to Limewire?

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Last week, a federal court found Limewire guilty of intentionally inducing widespread copyright infringement.   Some reports claim the Limewire suit was a futile exercise if the goal is to stop the rampant copyright infringement that occurs on p2p networks. However, Limewire Group has found itself at the center of many dramas over the past few years and the possible shuttering of the company has been a long time coming.  The history of Limewire is not pretty, involving inadvertent filesharing, identity theft, Congressional hearings, and even leaked national security secrets.    Filesharing […]

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Technology and Taxes

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Tax scholars debated policy issues affecting technology and innovation at the National Tax Association’s Spring Symposium May 13 and 14. Among the presentations, Peter Merrill of PricewaterhouseCoopers argued that to alleviate economic distortions the U.S. should reduce corporate taxes and place less reliance on the taxation of worldwide income.  Merrill emphasized the growing importance of intangible assets. Harvey Rosen of Princeton University and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers said economists widely agree that a value added tax is equivalent to a tax on wages. Jason Furman, Deputy […]

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Research Roundup #1

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Today we kick off the Research Roundup, a new feature on the TPI blog. This semi-regular series highlights recently published articles and working papers related to our research interests by authors outside of the Technology Policy Institute. TPI scholars do not necessarily agree with all the articles featured here—in fact, some of us may disagree completely with authors’ arguments or conclusions. Nevertheless, we believe that promoting literature on different sides of these debates encourages well-rounded and informed discussion. These papers are typically culled from new postings on SSRN, but we […]

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Google’s Acquisition of AdMob

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A decision by the FTC on whether to allow Google’s acquisition of AdMob to go forward is imminent and Tech Daily Dose today referenced a blog post by mobile app developer Wertago about its experience with the FTC staff investigating the deal.  Its a very interesting little essay and I recommend it to anyone interested in how the antitrust agencies review mergers in the technology sectors.   Wertago is a customer in this market, so they would be expected to be concerned if the proposed acquisition was anticompetitive. One of […]

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