Disneyland to expand
Lawmakers in the special administrative region have approved a government plan to expand the city’s Disneyland at a cost of about US$465 million. The approval late on Friday came after the Walt Disney Co and the Hong Kong government agreed to expand their joint venture, Hong Kong Disneyland, two weeks ago after two years of negotiation. The proposed expansion will add three more theme areas and 30 more new attractions, enlarging the park by nearly a quarter over the next five years.
Firm gets go-ahead for IPO
A construction company has received approval for the biggest initial public stock offering this year and hopes to raise 42.6 billion yuan (US$6.3 billion), a state newspaper reported yesterday. China State Construction Engineering Corp (中國建築工程), the country’s biggest builder of housing, plans to issue 12 billion shares, the China Securities Journal reported. The company’s showcase projects include the “Water Cube” swimming center for the Beijing Olympics, the futuristic state TV headquarters and the Shanghai World Financial Center.
Rosetta Stone sues Google
Rosetta Stone, a language-learning software producer, on Friday filed a federal lawsuit against Google for infringing its trademark through Google’s AdWords online advertising program. Rosetta Stone charges that Google is wrongly allowing its name and other trademarks to serve as keywords that other businesses can use to target paid advertisements to people on the Internet. Google said on Friday that its policy is to allow trademarks to be used to target AdWords advertising.
Porsche board calls meeting
The German luxury sports car maker Porsche has scheduled an extraordinary meeting of its supervisory board on July 23 to discuss offers by Qatar and Volkswagen, sources said on Friday. A Porsche spokesman confirmed the meeting, while a source close to the supervisory board said the Qatar and VW offers would be discussed. Invitations were extended by Wolfgang Porsche, head of the supervisory board, the spokesman said.
Continental to join alliance
The US government on Friday approved Continental Airlines’ bid to join the Star Alliance and granted partial antitrust immunity to a new joint venture within the group. The Transportation Department announced final approval of the requests made by Star members and Continental, confirming an April 7 finding that the proposed agreements would not hurt competition. Continental, the fourth-largest US airline and currently a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, will join Star, a grouping of more than 20 US and international airlines.
Gannett announces cuts
The latest wrenching cutbacks at Gannett Co fell last week, as hundreds of employees at the largest US newspaper publisher received notices of layoffs. The company informed its newspapers last week that roughly 1,400 positions would be cut at Gannett’s US community publishing division, a unit that does not include its flagship USA Today newspaper. It was the latest major cutback for Gannett amid drastic revenue declines across the newspaper industry.