Microsoft-Yahoo! Search Deal Gains Approval
The biggest news in search this week was undoubtedly Microsoft and Yahoo’s announcement  that they received “unrestricted” clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission to proceed with their proposed search deal. This is bound to be a big game changer. To read more, check out Alec Green’s write up. 
Google’s Buzz Continues to Receive Heavy Criticism
Google’s latest social media product, Buzz, continues to receive heavy criticism this week from the blogosphere. The majority of complaints have called out Google’s obvious failure to properly test the product prior to its launch. According to a report from BBC News , “The firm (Google) has now set up a “war room” at Google HQ to bring together engineers and product managers to make decisions about what changes need to be made to Buzz.” In the meantime, there are some very comical blogs you should check out on the topic, I highly suggest Lore Sjöberg’s article on Wired.com  and if you are looking for something a little more constructive, check out Danny Sullivan’s article on searching Google’s Buzz. 
Salesforce Offers Facebook Like Service to Businesses
Salesforce introduced its new social media service  for businesses called Chatter . The private social network will allow corporations to communicate internally, making the idea of Facebook functional for businesses.
Apple to Reduce the Price of E-Books for the iPad
The New York Times reported that Apple’s e-books prices may actually fall.  According to Nick Bilton’s article, Apple has established a provision that will require publishers to lower the costs on best selling e-books, such that Apple’s originally forecasted $12.99-$14.99 range will now represent the high end of its price list. Apple’s book pricing has been a point of criticism since the launch of their iPad.
FCC Wants High Speed Internet for the Masses
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) laid out some details about the upcoming National Broadband Plan that is set to go to Congress in March. The plan, known as the “100 Squared” plan, aims to bring 100M bps to 100 million homes across the United States. In a speech  on Tuesday at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Conference , Chairman Julius Genachowski emphasized the economic and social promises of broadband, stating that “The economic benefits of broadband go hand in hand with social benefits and the potential for vast improvements in the quality of life of all Americans.” 
Twitter’s Hiring Binge
Fast Company Names Facebook Most Innovative Company of the Year
- Interesting article from Tony Bradley at PC World  about the impact Aardvark could have on Google and how valuable a business tool it may prove to be.
- Nick Bilton from the NYTimes Technology Blog  published an interesting wish list of future cell phone features such as biometrics sensors, mobile conferencing, and green battery power.
- Check out Stephan Spencer’s article  on the tensions between PPC and SEO on Search Engine Land.
- Leah Betancourt published an article today on Mashable.com that looks into the question “can e-readers and tablets save the news?” 
- (This is actually from last week, but I stumbled upon it this week and think it’s important to share.) E-Consultancy’s blog  has a great summary of iProspect’s recent research paper on the relationship between on- and offline marketing.