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Tech news from around the web:

  • Google Music, a streaming service that will store user’s existing music library on Google’s servers, is nearly complete and being tested on internally, reports CNet. Greg Sandoval writes, “Negotiations with at least some of the top publishers and four largest record labels are ongoing, according to sources.”
  • Kodak is suing RIM and Apple over an image preview phone patent. Bloomberg reports that $1 billion dollars could be at stake.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • AllThingsDigital reports that Rob Solomon, the president and chief operating officer of group buying site Groupon, is stepping down from his job. No reasons have been given for the former Yahoo executive’s departure.

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Tech News from around the web:

  • The value of Facebook is the subject of two news items on the web today. The New York Post is reporting that representatives of a co-founder of the social network – which could be either Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz or Eduardo Saverin – have approached a Wall St dealmaker about selling up to 10m shares of common stock. Meanwhile, according to CNBC, Facebook is now worth $65bn after General Atlantic, an investment company, was named as a purchaser of one tenth of one percent of Facebook.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • Groupon, owner of the biggest coupon website, has said it has started an online group-buying service in China, Bloomberg reports. The new Gaopeng.com site will initially cover Beijing and Shanghai before expanding to other major Chinese cities.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • US President Barack Obama is to meet Facebook chief Mark Zuckerbuerg, Apple’s Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt of Google  and a roster of other technology executives at a private dinner during a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area this week, Mashable reports. White House press secretary Jay Carney said the get-together will focus on “innovation and job creation”.

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Groupon headquartersGroupon is stepping up its commitment to Russia and the country’s largest internet group, Mail.ru. The e-commerce site announced on Tuesday it would begin offering deals on Odnoklassniki, one of Mail.ru’s social networking sites, allowing customers to make one-click purchases and follow friends’ shopping habits without ever having to leave the Odnoklassniki site.

Chris Nuttall

Facebook Places, launched just five months ago, already appears to be sucking marketing dollars away from needy location-based startups such as Foursquare and Gowalla , according to a new survey. Responses from more than 8,000 local business owners in the US to a MerchantCircle quarterly questionnaire also suggest group-buying sites are failing to gain much traction versus traditional online marketing destinations such as Facebook and Google’s AdWords. Read more

From around the web:

  • Yahoo has unveiled Livestand, a digital newsstand that personalises content to reader’s interests.
  • The Wall St. Journal reports that both Facebook and Google have had talks with Twitter about acquiring the micro-blogging service.

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From around the web:

  • ComScore’s 2010 digital trends shows that email usage is down 59% among teens, TechCrunch reports.
  • Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason has responded to the Super Bowl ad controversy. He writes on the company blog, “The last thing we wanted was to offend our customers – it’s bad business and it’s not where our hearts are.”

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The raciest Super Bowl ads usually involve bikini-clad women beckoning football fans to buy a beer. But this year’s ad from Groupon, the US-based company that arranges group discounts at local merchants, broke new ground by stirring up political tensions around Tibetan independence to sell coupons to a restaurant.

The ad managed to offend advocates on both sides of the issue and could ultimately hurt Groupon’s expansion prospects in China. Read more