Sun, Sep 10, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Semiconductors

Powerchip, Elpida eye tie-up

Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體) and Elpida Memory Inc may form a venture with initial capital of about NT$10 billion (US$304 million) to make computer memory chips in Taiwan, the Chinese-language Com-mercial Times said. The venture will take over an existing Powerchip plant in central Taiwan, the paper reported Saturday, without saying where it got the information. A Powerchip spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report. But he said the 12-inch plant, located in Taichung, is on schedule to start initial output of computer memory chips in the third quarter of next year and mass production by the end of next year. Powerchip already uses technology from Elpida at the Taichung plant and its other factories in Taiwan.

■ Aviation

All Nippon mulls cheap lines

All Nippon Airways is considering launching two discount carriers -- one domestic and another offering international services -- next year amid intensifying competition from other low-cost airlines, a major newspaper reported yesterday. ANA, Japan's No. 2 carrier, plans to launch the new airlines in the first half of next year as subsidiaries specializing in discount airfares, through cost cutting of in-flight services, the Yomiuri said, without citing sources. The plan comes ahead of the scheduled 2009 completion of a fourth runway at Tokyo's Haneda international airport, where the number of flights are expected to increase by 40 percent, including short-distance international flights, the report said.

■ Sports

NFL offers games over Web

Football fans outside North America will be able to watch most NFL games live over the Internet under a subscription package, the league announced on Friday. The NFL Game Pass service, available through Yahoo Inc for US$25 a week or US$250 for the 17-week regular season, is aimed primarily at the most avid football fans, including Americans who have moved abroad. Those fans currently have access to few games on television, said Brian Rolapp, the league's vice president for media strategy. Individual games will be blocked from certain countries abroad when a broadcaster has rights there, Rolapp said.

■ Semiconductors

Broadcom hikes expenses

Broadcom Corp, a supplier of semiconductor chips used in communication devices, said on Friday it may need to record expenses of US$1.5 billion or more for stock option accounting flaws -- double what it had estimated in July. The company said it had uncovered additional stock option grants with inaccurate dates. Broadcom is one of about 100 companies under scrutiny for possibly backdating stock option grants or dating options retroactively to coincide with share price lows. The practice increases the potential windfall for the recipient of the award.

■ Telecoms

Miami most gabby in US

Residents of Miami are the most talkative over mobile phones, making and receiving 298 calls a month -- nearly 10 calls per day, Verizon Wireless announced on Friday. Los Angeles comes in a distant second place, where residents complete just 260 calls a month, fewer than nine calls a day, the company said. "Our study offers an interesting snapshot of how Americans have come to rely on their wireless service every day at home and on the road," Verizon vice president Dick Lynch said in a statement.

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