Fox-Time Warner deal could bring the game to ESPN

Twenty-First Century Fox's plan to buy Time Warner could create an upheaval in the sports television world, creating the first meaningful challenge to Walt Disney's ESPN.

Time Warner's board has rejected an $80 billion bid, but Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch is unlikely to walk away quickly. A deal would bring him college basketball's "March Madness" championship tournament, prime time National Basketball Association (NBA) games, and Major League Baseball (MLB) games.

Fox's sports rights include National Football League games, professional baseball games and NASCAR racing. In 2015 it gets the rights to women's World Cup soccer and in 2018 the men's World Cup.

California politicians call for Fox News host to resign over slur

Rep Judy Chu (D-CA) and State Sen Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles) have called for a host of Fox News Channel's "The Five" program to resign, saying Bob Beckel's use of the term "Chinamen" was racist.

The pundit is facing criticism for using the word on air as well as for suggesting Chinese computer science students come to study in the US only to pose a security threat. Rep Chu said she was deeply offended and that Beckel should go immediately.

State Sen Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles), who is running for the US House of Representatives, called himself "one of those 'Chinamen' with 'Oriental' eyes" who immigrated to the United States and majored in computer science. I also served on active duty in the United States Air Force and continue to serve my country in the Reserves," State Sen Lieu said. "Mr. Beckel's comments are more than just racist and stupid. His ignorant views are dangerous."

Dish tells FCC will participate in 2015 spectrum auction

Dish Network said it plans to take part in the Federal Communications Commission's large sale of low-frequency airwaves planned for mid-2015. Dish's Chairman Charlie Ergen and other executives met with the FCC's Chairman Tom Wheeler, four commissioners and numerous wireless officials, giving the most explicit pledge so far by the satellite TV provider to "meaningfully participate" in the so-called "incentive" auction."

The incentive auction offers opportunities for competitive providers and new entrants to bid on and win much-needed lowband spectrum, which will facilitate the deployment of mobile broadband services," wrote Dish Senior Vice President Jeffrey Blum.

Murdoch's ambitions may take center stage in Sun Valley

Rupert Murdoch will jet into Idaho's Sun Valley for the year's most exclusive tech and media industry gathering, armed with both the money and the appetite for a major deal.

The 83-year-old Twenty-First Century Fox chief executive officer, a regular at investment bank Allen & Co's annual gathering, is in the midst of a deal that would give Fox the firepower to buy a content company.

Fox's 39 percent-owned British Sky Broadcasting Group is negotiating to buy Fox's Sky Italia and its Sky Deutschland subsidiary in a deal that could net Fox as much as $13 billion. Sun Valley will be teeming with CEOs whose companies might fit the bill. Among expected attendees are Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.

LightSquared reaches bankruptcy deal, without Ergen

LightSquared has reached a mediated deal to bring the wireless communications company out of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a report from the mediator who lashed out at Charles Ergen, a large creditor and satellite TV mogul.

Amazon and Indian investment firm to help small businesses get online’s Asia unit will provide back-end support in a venture with an Indian private investment firm formed by Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy that aims to help get Indian companies online.

Catamaran Ventures' partnership with Amazon Asia will target small- and medium-sized firms, Arjun Ramegowda Narayanswamy, who heads the private investment company, said.

Access to mobile devices and better-quality broadband has boosted India's online shopping scene, where Amazon is jostling with home-grown companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal for market share.

An official from Amazon's India unit, who did not want to be identified as details of the deal are not public, told Reuters Amazon will support the venture with logistics and technology know-how. The venture, which is already operational, is expected to help offline sellers and small and medium businesses in India to supply to a fast-growing set of online customers in the country, he said.

China cybercrime cooperation stalls after US hacking charges

Fledging cooperation between the United States and China on fighting cybercrime has ground to a halt since the recent US indictment of Chinese military officials on hacking charges, a senior US security official said. At the same time, there has been no decline in Chinese hackers' efforts to break into US networks, the official said. US and Chinese officials had started working together to combat certain types of online crime, including money laundering, child pornography and drug trafficking, the US official said. But that cooperation has stopped.

Judge says concerned about Apple, Google hiring settlement

A US judge said she had concerns about approving a $324.5 million settlement involving Apple, Google and two other tech companies in a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to avoid poaching each other's workers.

Tech employees filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems in 2011.

The case has been closely watched due to the potentially high damages award and the opportunity to peek into the world of Silicon Valley's elite. The four companies agreed to settle with the plaintiffs in April for a total of $324.5 million. The plaintiffs had planned to ask for about $3 billion in damages at trial, which could have tripled to $9 billion under antitrust law.

US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California must approve the deal.

Apps let parents control children’s usage of electronic devices

Parents struggling to get their children away from smartphones and tablets for meals, homework, exercise and other activities can arm themselves with new apps to remotely block access to the devices.

Usage of smartphones and tablets among children has tripled since 2011, according to Common Sense Media, a San Francisco based non-profit that studies the effects of media and technology on young users.

A new app called DinnerTime Parental Control, for iPhone or Android smartphones, enables parents to restrict when children can use their smartphones and tablets. “The price of entry level smartphones and tablets have come down a lot, and as a result, more and more kids have their own individual devices,” said Richard Sah, co-founder of DinnerTime, based in San Mateo (CA). With the free app, parents can pause activity on a child’s Android smartphone or tablet so that they can focus on things like homework, exercise and family time.

Once a device has been paused, all functions on their device are blocked, including the ability to text and play with apps. DinnerTime Plus, another free app from the company, lets parents manage the apps their children use and to views the apps they are using in real time. Parents can also purchase detailed reporting, which outlines how much time kids spend on certain apps, and how often they used them.

If Sprint buys T-Mobile, it may have to slash prices: analysts

If Sprint Corp acquires T-Mobile US, it could save up to $6.6 billion on network, equipment and operating costs, but it will have to slash its prices to match the target company's steep discounts, analysts said. Sprint, under Chairman Masayoshi Son, has been hesitant to join other carriers in cutting fees because a decline in revenue would hurt its stock price, analysts say.

Its shares have risen 8 percent since Dec. 12 on speculation it was looking to acquire T-Mobile from Deutsche Telecom AG.

"I think he's realized he's between a rock and a hard place. Sprint’s prices are much too high, but if Sprint cuts prices, its stock will fall," said Craig Moffett, lead analyst at MoffettNathanson. "They don't come close to justifying their stock price."

The price differential is just one hurdle that Sprint, which is 80 percent owned by Japan's SoftBank Corp, would face if it pursues a deal to buy T-Mobile.

Unease about whether Sprint can overcome regulatory hurdles sent its stock down 9.3 percent to $8.77 since details emerged of a potential bid. Sprint customers spend an average of $62 a month, compared with $50 for T-Mobile. "It is not a sustainable situation. If the companies merge, they will need uniform pricing across the company," said Michael McCormack, a lead analyst at Jefferies.