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Welcome to 2010: what's up this week

Update:With link to Ammori's paper on TV Everywhere

Happy 2010s (that's twenty-tens, thank you), and the new decade begins with a ton of tech policy news this week.

ANTITRUST and ONLINE VIDEO-- Public interest groups, led by Free Press, are calling for the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to investigate the cable, satellite and telecom industry initiative called TV Everywhere. Check out Post Tech's story in paper today.

The groups say the strategy -- that puts some show and movies online for video and Internet subscribers -- was conceived as a collusive act by the industry to keep new entrants like Apple, Vuze, Boxee, Miro and others off their turf. The cable industry, the biggest distributor of paid television, calls the claims false, saying TV Everywhere is putting "Entourage" online for the first time to its subscribers for free. Free Press' Marvin Ammori, author of a paper called TV Nowhere submitted to antitrust agencies, says consumers are strapped with double fees -- for cable television and broadband Internet -- when they could be cutting the cord on the television part. No word yet from Justice or FTC.

GOOGLE PHONE HOME--On Tuesday, Google will announce its worst kept secret -- a new smart phone based on its Android operating system. It is expected to be called Nexus One with a first partnership with T-Mobile, which means it won't run on 3G. It will be unlocked, according to reports. The move will reignite opened and closed debates, as explored in a previous story by Post Tech. The Federal Communications Commission is already looking into exclusive handset deals as part of its wireless investigation. They've also fired off a query to Verizon Wireless about the raising of its early termination fees -- a symptom consumer groups say is tied to exclusive partnerships and the walled-garden approach of carriers and phone makers. The phone was reviewed already by Engadget.

CES--Post Tech and Rob Pegoraro's Faster Forward will be in Vegas starting Wednesday to report from the year's biggest and insanely tiring tech trade show.

COMCAST SPEAKS--A federal court takes up oral arguments in Comcast's appeal of the FCC's ruling against it for blocking Web application BitTorrent. The court will give an unusually long period for Comcast and opponents of Comcast's actions to speak. Marvin Ammori, yes, the same guy who filed the complaint against TV Everywhere on Monday, will be speaking on behalf of public interest groups, consumer advocates, online video startup Vuze, Google and the Open Internet Coalition.

By Cecilia Kang  |  January 4, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
 
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