Today in Tech: What’s next for Groupon? by JP Mangalindan @FortuneMagazine July 13, 2012, 3:56 PM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Digg gets sold; why the death of the TV cable bundle is coming. U.S. pursuing a middleman in web piracy [THE NEW YORK TIMES] The case is the government’s most far-reaching effort so far to crack down on foreigners suspected of breaking American laws. It is unusual because it goes after a middleman, who the authorities say made a fair amount of money by pointing people to pirated content. Mr. O’Dwyer’s backers say the prosecution goes too far, squelching his free-speech right to publish links to other Web sites. Digg sold to LinkedIn and The Washington Post and Betaworks [TECHCRUNCH] While that number is indeed in the ballpark, we’re hearing from multiple sources that the total price of the Digg acquisition was around $16 million, including the price paid for IP by a previously unreported acquirer, LinkedIn. … According to a familiar source, the Washington Post ended up paying $12 million for the Digg team. Around the same time, career social network LinkedIn paid between $3.75 million and $4 million for around 15 different Digg patents including the patent on “click a button to vote up a story”. The education of Groupon CEO Andrew Mason [BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK] Some business owners aren’t sold on Groupon’s new services. Earlier this year, Carlos Kainz signed up for Groupon Rewards, which promised to turn casual patrons of his Seattle restaurant, Dulces Bistro & Wine, into loyal customers. On Groupon’s website, diners supplied their credit-card numbers; those who spent more than $375 on meals at Dulces would get a $50 voucher. “They said it was going to make people return, kind of like a mileage plan,” Kainz, owner of the eatery, says of a Groupon salesperson’s pitch. Six months into the program, Kainz counts the number of customers who unlocked the reward: “Zero.” Tech investors brace for a cruel summer [FORTUNE] Factset estimates that tech stocks in the S&P 500 will post earnings growth of 3.6% for the quarter. While that’s higher than the 3% rate for all of the S&P 500, it’s all Apple (AAPL). Exclude Apple’s expected earnings growth and average tech earnings will fall 2%. The end of TV and the death of the cable bundle [THE ATLANTIC] For these millions of households — who don’t watch live sports; or only want HBO; or only need their Law & Order, ANTM, and Daily Show fix; etc — an à la carte option for television would almost certainly be cheaper. But à la carte would blow up television, which has been the most dependable and lucrative business model in modern entertainment history.