Tech tapas: Mayer’s mobile plan for Yahoo, a possible BlackBerry ban, and Groupon’s CEO may be replaced

A quick look at what’s going on in the tech world this morning:

•  Yahoo’s Melissa Mayer gave her first live interview since taking over as CEO on Tuesday at a Palo Alto event sponsored by Fortune. Mayer told the audience that for Yahoo to succeed, it needs to become a leader in offering mobile content.

“We have a terrific set of assets on the web — all the things people want to do on their mobile phone,” Mayer said, according to Fortune. “The interesting thing is when you look at what people want to do on their phone, it’s mail, weather, check stock quotes and news. That’s Yahoo’s business. This is a huge opportunity for us because we have the content and all the information people want on their phones.”

The key now, she said, is developing that killer mobile news app. To that end, Yahoo is bolstering its mobile development, and is likely to “acqui-hire” more mobile companies, Mayer said.

• Things aren’t getting any easier for troubled BlackBerry maker Research in Motion. The Canadian company lost a WiFi patent case with Nokia, and is now facing a possible ban on BlackBerry sales unless it agrees to a royalty deal.

A Swedish arbitrator ruled Wednesday that “RIM was in breach of contract and is not entitled to manufacture or sell (WiFi) products without first agreeing royalties with Nokia,” according to a Reuters report.

Nokia has filed a petition in federal court in San Jose to block U.S. sales of BlackBerry devices, IDG reports, but experts expect a royalty deal will be worked out. The new BlackBerry 10 operating system is expected to launch early next year, and a sales ban would be devastating to RIM, which has seen its smartphone market share plummet in recent years.

• It should be an interesting day for Groupon CEO Andrew Mason. The head of the embattled Chicago-based daily deals site is scheduled to speak at Business Insider’s Ignition conference in New York, while at the same time his company’s board is meeting to possibly fire him.

Groupon’s stock has been battered this year, losing 80 percent of its value since its IPO last November. The Groupon board of directors is meeting to discuss possible mismanagement by Mason, as well as whether or not to keep him around, according to Bloomberg News.

All Things D’s Kara Swisher first reported the story, and said that if the board decides to seek new leadership, the change may not happen immediately, and Mason will likely be involved in the handoff. “The question is not whether Andrew is a good guy, but whether Groupon needs an Eric Schmidt,” one source told Swisher. “And there’s been a lot more pressure now on the board to consider this seriously.”






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