In Brief

MEXICO CITY

Mexicana halting operations as it tries to restructure costs

Debt-ridden carrier Mexicana, Mexico’s biggest airline, was to halt all operations as of midnight Friday as it seeks to restructure costs, Mexico’s transportation secretary said.

The country’s biggest airline was forced to shut down because it does not have enough money to keep flying, Juan Francisco Molinar Horcasitas told reporters.

But Mexicana da Aviacion “is in a process that should lead to restructuring,” he said.

The airline filed for bankruptcy protection in Mexico and the U.S. on Aug. 2, and later stopped selling tickets and suspended some flights.

As of August, the airline had 25 flights per week out of McCarran International Airport, 18 to Mexico City and seven to Guadalajara. The airline carried 19,921 arriving and departing passengers to and from McCarran in July, data show.

MINNEAPOLIS

Justice Department opinion moves airline merger forward

United and Continental airlines moved a big step closer to their proposed combination on Friday, with the Justice Department saying it has no more antitrust concerns about the deal.

On Friday, the two airlines said they would lease takeoff and landing slots in Newark to Southwest Airlines. The Justice Department says that clears up its main competitive concern.

Shareholders at Continental Airlines Inc. and United parent UAL Corp. are set to vote on the deal Sept. 17. The combination would create the world’s biggest airline.

The Justice Department says the airlines overlap on a limited number of routes. The biggest overlap was at Newark (N.J.) Liberty International Airport. Mike Boyd, an airline and airport consultant in Colorado, said giving up a few slots at Newark was an easy decision for the combining giants.

SAN FRANCISCO

Microsoft co-founder accuses Google, Apple of infringement

Microsoft Corp. co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen is suing nearly a dozen major companies, including tech giants Google Inc. and Apple Inc., alleging they infringed on four Web technology patents held by his company Interval Licensing LLC.

Interval said Friday it filed the lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in Seattle against the companies. Other defendants named are Facebook Inc., eBay Inc., Yahoo Inc., Netflix Inc., AOL Inc., Office Depot Inc., OfficeMax Inc., Staples Inc. and Google-owned YouTube LLC.

Interval owns patents from Interval Research, which was a technology research and development company that Allen started with David Liddle in the early 1990s.

SEATTLE

Hewlett-Packard’s new bid for 3Par tops Dell bid by 11 percent

Hewlett-Packard Co. boosted its bid for 3Par Inc. to $1.88 billion Friday, topping Dell Inc.’s offer by 11 percent and again raising the stakes in the bidding contest for the data-storage company.

The $30-per-share offer from HP came just hours after Dell matched HP’s Thursday bid of $27 per share. The latest price is three times what 3Par was trading at before Dell made its first bid last week, for $18 per share, or $1.13 billion.

Dell and 3Par said earlier Friday that 3Par’s board had accepted the latest bid from Dell, which only has to match the terms of other offers under its initial agreement with 3Par, which is based in Fremont, Calif.

NEW YORK

As shoppers buy more pricey jewelry, Tiffany profits increase

Tiffany & Co.’s second-quarter net income rose 19 percent on higher revenue as shoppers bought more of its high-end jewelry around the world, particularly in Asia and Europe.

In the quarter ended July 31, the New York company earned $67.7 million, or 53 cents per share. That’s above the $56.8 million, or 46 cents per share, the company earned in the year-ago period.

Excluding one-time items, Tiffany earned 55 cents per share — 2 cents above analyst estimates, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $668.8 million, below estimates of $690.2 million.

NEW YORK

Boeing 787 delivery postponed until middle of first quarter ’11

Boeing Co. postponed the delivery of its first 787 airliner to the middle of the first quarter of 2011, adding to a string of delays that has put it more than two years past its originally scheduled debut.

The latest delay is the result of engine delivery problems, Boeing said in a statement early Friday. The Chicago company said in July that it expected to start delivering the plane late this year, but it warned that might not happen. Boeing said then that a series of problems might push the first delivery “a few weeks into 2011.”

The original delivery date for the plane was May 2008.

Despite delays, the 787 remains Boeing’s best-selling new plane, with 847 orders from 55 customers.

It lists for $150 million to $205.5 million, although major customers routinely get discounts.

WASHINGTON

Regulators to take closer look at Google-ITA software deal

Federal regulators are taking a closer look at Google Inc.’s plans to buy travel technology company ITA Software Inc. in a $700 million all-cash deal announced last month.

In a blog post on Friday, Google said the Justice Department has asked it for more information about the proposed acquisition, which could position the search giant to compete with popular travel sites such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz.

ITA Software, a 500-employee company started in 1996 by computer scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, provides technology that helps run the reservation systems of several airlines. Google says the acquisition will provide it with tools to help consumers search for flights, compare fares and book tickets.

LOS ANGELES

Teens claim Facebook selling names without parental OK

Two Los Angeles County teenagers are suing Facebook, claiming the social network effectively sold their names and images to advertisers without parental permission.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles challenges a Facebook feature that allows members to note that they like an advertised service or product. Facebook broadcasts those endorsements to the user’s friends.

The lawsuit also claims minors unwittingly endorse Facebook when people typing their names in a search engine are steered to a Facebook sign-up page.

The plaintiffs claim Palo Alto-based Facebook is violating a California law that requires parental consent for children to make commercial endorsements.

The teens are seeking unspecified damages.

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said the lawsuit is meritless. He said that Facebook does not allow users under the age of 18 to let their profiles appear on public search engines.

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