MORNING ROUNDUP: Anne Hathaway Says Hosting the Oscars Will Be 'Intimidating'
Plus: EU Opens antitrust probe into Google, Morgan Stanley's tech analyst Mary Meeker to join a venture capital giant, Netflix partner accuses Comcast of putting streaming video at a competitive disadvantage.
- Anne Hathaway admits she's a little nervous about co-hosting the Oscars with James Franco. "I found out that I'm one of three women to host since... I think it was 1987," she told Entertainment Tonight on Monday at NYC's Gotham Awards. "Maybe I'm the fourth, I'm not sure. I'm still learning all the amazing statistics that I almost don't want to know because it gets a little bit too intimidating." She told the New York Post she decided to host the Oscars because, "I like a challenge. It seems like an incredibly cool and exhilarating thing to do." She admitted to The Hollywood Reporter she "can't talk about anything" about what the show will include, and quipped to ET, "They told me they would hang me by my thumbs if I said anything." RELATED: Will hosting increase Hathaway’s chance at winning the gold statuette? READ all THR’s awards coverage and analysis.
- The European Commission on Tuesday launched a probe into Google to examine allegations that the Internet giant has abused its dominance in online search, the New York Times and others reported. The Commission cited complaints from companies about “unfavorable treatment of their services in Google’s unpaid and sponsored search results.” It will also investigate whether Google may have given its own services “preferential placement” in search results, the Times said. The online giant also faces separate antitrust probes in Italy, Germany and France. Plus, U.S. authorities have been examining Google’s acquisitions and actions to see whether its market power may be anti-competitive. Meanwhile, Google is near a deal to acquire online discounts provider Groupon for $5 billion-$6 billion, which would be its largest acquisition ever, the Times also reported.
- Long-time Morgan Stanley's head of global technology research Mary Meeker, the analyst who become known as "Queen of the Net" during the dot-com boom, is leaving Wall Street to take a job at Silicon Valley venture capital giant Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the Wall Street Journal reported. She will serve as a partner in the firm’s digital practice, where she will invest in start-up technology companies and help portfolio companies grow. Meeker, 51, will start her new job in the coming weeks.
- Technology firm Level 3 Communications, a key partner in Netflix’s online streaming service, has accused cable giant Comcast of charging a new fee that puts Internet video firms at a competitive disadvantage and threatens an open Internet, the New York Times reported. Comcast, which is expecting regulatory decisions on its plan to acquire NBC Universal soon, denied that the argument had anything to do with the much-discussed issue of network neutrality, instead calling it “a simple commercial dispute.” “Net neutrality” supporters argue that Internet traffic should be free of interference from network operators, such as Comcast and other broadband providers.
- Johnny Depp made Disney executives anxious with his flamboyant portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of Caribbean franchise, he tells Vanity Fair. He says Disney "couldn't stand" the way he played the role, and was even asked by one unnamed female executive if Sparrow was gay. Depp told her, "All my characters are gay," and says that, "really made her nervous." He's next due in The Tourist with Angelina Jolie, due in theaters Dec. 10. PHOTOS: Depp's most memorable career moments.