Phone makers RIM and Nokia denied installing on their mobile devices an app which can monitor what users are doing without their knowledge or consent while carriers AT&T and Sprint admitted to using it. The companies responded after a security researcher demonstrated in online videos how the “Carrier IQ” software worked on Google’s Android operating system and said that phones running RIM’s BlackBerry platform and Nokia’s Symbian OS also had the software installed. AT&T and Sprint said they use “Carrier IQ” to monitor network quality.

Blackstone Group and Bain Capital are preparing a bid for all of Yahoo with Asian partners in a deal that could value the Internet company at about $25 billion, a source familiar with the matter said. The potential bid by the consortium, which would include China’s Alibaba and Japan’s Softbank, has not yet been finalized, the source and two other people familiar with the matter said. E-commerce giant Alibaba, whose primary interest is in buying back a 40 percent stake owned by Yahoo, is keeping its options open and said it has not decided whether to participate in a bid for all of Yahoo.

Apple’s iPhone edged past major news events, celebrities and pop stars as the top searched term on the Web in 2011, according to Yahoo. The media company said the smartphone proved more popular than reality television celebrity Kim Kardashian, pop star Katy Perry and singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, who placed in the top five. Casey Anthony, the woman acquitted of the murder of her young daughter after a highly publicized trial, was No. 2.

Best Buy is recalling about 32,000 Rocketfish battery cases for iPhones because of a fire hazard, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada said. The Richfield, Minnesota, company and the CPSC have received about 14 reports of the Rocketfish Model RF-KL12 Mobile Battery Case overheating while charging in the United States, the CPSC said.

The European Commission joined forces with major technology firms including Apple, Facebook and Google to improve the protection of children online. The coalition, which includes 28 companies, will develop an age-based online ratings system and aims to strengthen privacy settings. It also plans by the end of next year to make it easier to report inappropriate content. Other measures include improving parental controls and enhancing cooperation among law enforcement and hotline authorities to remove online material showing sexual abuse.