Facebook worth $50B?; Comcast-NBCU takeover ripped

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> Goldman Sachs' decision to invest big bucks in Facebook is evidence that the company could be worth as much as $50 billion and in a position to develop new products and pursue acquisitions. Could this be 2011's first cord cutting threat to cable? Story.

> The FCC, as of the end of last year, might be leaning towards approving the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, but Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik isn't. In a scathing bit of editorializing, Hiltzik decreed that "nothing about (the merger) enhances the public interest" and that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's explanation of why the deal should go through shows "the derelict condition of government regulation in our age." Story.

> L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik isn't alone in his disdain for the FCC. A survey by Rasmussen Reports found that only 21 percent of 1,000 "likely U.S. voters" (and isn't that a key qualifier) think the FCC should regulate the Internet and 54 percent are opposed. The rest are undecided. Story.

> So far retransmission disputes have been contained within U.S. borders. That could all change if Huntingdon Real Estate Investment Trust, a Canadian firm, succeeds in buying U.S. broadcasting chain Fisher Communications for $211 million. Story.

And finally ... Manila Electric Co. is in talks with North American, European and Asian companies to find a way to use broadband over powerline technology to control smart meters in the Philippines. Probably to the dismay of the BPL crowd, though, initial results are inconclusive and "we are not that convinced yet," said Oscar Reyes, the utility's COO. Story.

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