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Google Under Fire in D.C. and IMVU is Hiring

A look at the ways Mountain View companies have made the news this week.

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

In the weekly “Bits and Bytes” column we’ll relay the past week’s news highlights from our backyard giants, start-ups and small businesses alike.

came under fire at in a closed-door Congressional briefing with California Representative Mary Bono Mack on Thursday. Mack, and other members of Congress, grilled company lawyers and privacy division leaders about whether users can delete information or content, but felt that Google didn't give them specifics. Public hearings will take place this spring.

Google and Apple are two of the five companies tied up in a "poaching case." A federal lawsuit claims that the tech giants violated anti-trust laws by entering into agreements not to recruit each other’s employees. From 2006 on, Google and Apple put each other on internal "do not call" lists, which according to the Justice Department claim restrains competition.

Medical devices company Iridex (NASDAQ: IRIX) announced this week that its global aesthetic business assets would not be acquired by Cutera, Inc. (NASDAQ: CUTR). The news comes only a month after the two companies announced a $5.1 million binding agreement. Iridex President Dominik Beck said, "The energies and resources of the entire organization can now be focused on the substantial and growing ophthalmology opportunity that is core to Iridex past and future successes."

Gridstore was honored with the very first Cloud Computing Excellence award from TMC this week. The company produces cloud-based storage nodes for medium sized companies.

Want a job in the online game industry? IMVU, is an online social game where members use 3D avatars to play games with their friends, seeks a visual designer. Actually, they have 14 open positions. Founded in 2004, IMVU has been named one of the top growing companies in Silicon Valley and has been profitable since 2009.

Coupon.com named its "frugalebrities" that is, celebrities who use coupons, of 2011. The A (and B)-listers include: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Halle Berry, Hilary Swank, Kourtney Kardashian, Renee Zellweger, Nicole Scherzinger, Caroline Channing, and Tim Hasselbeck.

Additional reporting by Rachel Stern

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