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Olympus, Republic Wireless: Hot Trends

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet Tuesday include Olympus after the Japanese company said three executives, including its former chairman, helped conceal decades of losses.

Olympus said former Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, Executive Vice President Hisashi Mori and auditor Hideo Yamada took part in the cover-up by paying inflated fees to takeover advisers in effort to hide the losses. This comes after weeks of accusations against the company regarding its purchase of Gyrus Group in 2008 and three other takeovers. The company had continuously denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

Now, regulators are investigating allegations that Olympus, the camera and medical equipment maker, siphoned more than $1 billion through offshore accounts. The Tokyo Stock Exchange said it is contemplating moving Olympus shares to a watch list for a possible delisting.

Another hot search Tuesday is Republic Wireless as the startup company has launched a limited beta version of its $19-a-month wireless service.

For now, the service will be available on the LG Optimus smartphone. Republic Wireless will take on Sprint Nextel (S) as its first cellular partner in the agreement, in which the smartphone and one month of service will go for $199, with unlimited voice, data and texting costing $19 a month afterward.

Republic Wireless is calling the service "the world's first $19-a-month hybrid calling plan," while leaving the window open for future price drops even further. The phone will connect with Wi-Fi first, but when Wi-Fi is unavailable the connection will switch over to the cellular network. The company said the price could drop below $19 a month if customers use Wi-Fi a great deal.

Customers won't have to sign a contract, and the company said there will be no overage fees.

Cholesterol drug also is trending as the patent on Pfizer's (PFE - Get Report) Lipitor is about to expire.

The cash cow drug has reached $130 billion in sales since its creation in 1997. When its patent expires on Nov. 30, a slew of cheap generic forms of the drug are anticipated to hit the market. Without patent protection, any generic drug company will be able to create cheaper versions of Lipitor. Now, in a possible attempt to stay competitive, Pfizer itself is saying it could be one of companies to introduce a generic version of the cholesterol fighter.

The drug lowers levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, cutting the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google, Yahoo! and other search sites) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on the Web, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Written by Brittany Umar.
Brittany joined TV in November 2006 after completing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers College. Previously, Brittany interned at the local ABC affiliate in New York City WABC-TV 7 where she helped research and produce On Your Side, a popular consumer advocacy segment.

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