A curated selection of the weekend’s newsworthy tech stories from all around the Web. Read on, and join the conversation with a comment below.
“We learned that you can’t rely on anyone else to control and maintain your own brand.”
— Groupon CEO Andrew Mason on its controversial Super Bowl ad. (Ad Age)
AT&T plans to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, a deal that would make the former the largest mobile U.S. carrier and the only carrier stateside to use Global System for Mobile (GSM) technology — it will also bring the number of major national wireless carriers down from four to three. The transition, which will take 12 months to happen if U.S. regulatory agencies don’t put up a fight, will also give T-Mobile USA owner Deutsche Telekom some 8% of the newly-combined AT&T. (What say you, Fortune readers? Is AT&T’s move a stroke of brilliance or an ominous sign of things to come in the mobile market? Sound off in the comments below.) (Fortune)
- If AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA goes through, it will leave Sprint in a precarious position as a distant third. The company will face a real problem if and when it needs to transition from its current WiMAX-based fourth-generation (4G) network technologies to Long-Term Evolution (LTE), a technology AT&T and Verizon are implementing into their own networks over the next two years. LTE’s rise will give even more power to AT&T and Verizon as enterprises and consumers will likely want to carry devices that support the dominant standard. (Fortune)
- Intel reportedly tried wooing Todd Bradley, HP’s head of PC business, but to no avail. Bradley’s experience, both at HP and as Palm CEO, would have proven invaluable to the chip maker as it searches for an eventual successor to its own CEO, Paul Otellini. (Wall Street Journal)
- For more on Groupon’s rapid ascent as the leading daily deals site, check out Bloomberg Businessweek’s company profile and interview with 30-year-old Andrew Mason. For starters, the startup, reportedly seeking a public offering that would make the company worth $25 billion, will rake in between $3 billion and $4 billion in sales this year, up from $750 million in 2010. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Over at Amazon, the company is looking for a few — well, at least five — Android-savvy developers. While that could pretty much mean anything, like an uptick in general Android software development, Nick Bilton over at The New York Times speculates the company may be looking to develop a color screen Android-loving Kindle tablet. (New York Times)
- Netflix’s $100-million-ish purchase of the Kevin Spacey TV vehicle, House of Cards, could have some far-reaching, long-term consequences besides making it an outlet where users will want first access to content. Check out TechCrunch writer MG Siegler’s essay on how. (TechCrunch)
- Facebook will acquire Israeli startup Snaptu, developer of the social network’s feature phone app, for a reported $70 million. (Read Write Web)
- FarmVille game maker Zynga acquired independent game developer Floodgate Entertainment for talent purposes, making this the 10th acquisition for the company in the last 10 months. Previous purchases include the Flock team, Conduit Labs, and XPD in Beijing. (Zynga)
- The Google Ventures announced a new referral initiative: if you’re a Google employee and refer a startup that the team ends up investing in, s/he gets a $10,000 cash reward. (TechCrunch)
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