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Google Drove $80 Billion in Economic Activity in 2011; Firefox OS Phones Coming in 2013

A look at the ways Mountain View technology companies have made the news in the past week.

Every week, Mountain View makes news with technology developments, discoveries and sometimes controversies.

Today, Mountain View Patch brings you “Bits and Bytes,” where we’ll relay the past week’s news highlights from our backyard giants, start-ups and small businesses alike.

Google was responsible for driving $80 billion in U.S. economic activity last year, according to its 2011 Economic Impact Report unveiled today. That’s due to AdWords and AdSense: the company estimates that businesses that use AdWords make $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on it.

Google gave an EU investigative committee a letter offering to make concessions over antitrust accusations. The committee has declined to reveal what’s in the letter, however. If the EU accepts Google’s offer, the company would dodge a possible fine of up to 10 percent of its annual global revenue, or a whopping $37.9 billion last year.

Want your tweets simultaneously displayed on LinkedIn? As of Monday, that’s no longer possible. LinkedIn is axing its features which displays tweets, available since 2009, to be more in line with the “core Twitter consumption experience,” said a group product manager. In other words, the company wants more people to visit the micro-blogging platform directly.

Mountain View’s Shape Security, a security start-up, has recruited Google security expert Shuman Ghosemajumder to lead recruiting, partnership and marketing efforts. The company shifts costs from security defenders to attackers so that hackers have to spend more, and companies less.

Phone makers ZTE and TCL Communication Technology are rolling out the first Firefox OS phones using Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors in early 2013. A slew of mobile network operators around the world, such as mobile network operators Deutsche Telekom, Sprint, Smart, Telecom Italia, Telenor and Etisalat, are backing the free Firefox platform.

Intuit has more good news for small business: Employment increased 0.3 percent in June, with the creation of about 70,000 new jobs, according to its just-released small business index. Average monthly compensation grew by 0.5 percent, or $14, while average monthly hours worked increased by 0.3 percent, or 18 minutes.

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