Wed, Dec 24, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

OIL

Saudi says no to output cut

OPEC will not cut oil production, even if the price drops to US$20 a barrel, and it is unfair to expect the cartel to reduce output if non-members do not, Saudi Arabia said. “Whether it goes down to US$20 a barrel, US$40, US$50, US$60, it is irrelevant,” Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali al-Naimi said in an interview with the Middle East Economic Survey, an industry weekly. In unusually detailed comments, al-Naimi defended a decision by OPEC last month to maintain a production ceiling of 30 million barrels per day. The decision sent global crude prices tumbling, worsening a price drop that has fallen by about 50 percent since June.

TELECOMS

Telstra to buy Pacnet

Telstra Corp will acquire Pacnet Ltd, which operates undersea cables in the Asia-Pacific region, as Australia’s largest telephone company seeks to expand in the region. The US$697 million transaction, which includes gross debt of about US$400 million, will be completed by the middle of next year, subject to regulatory and Pacnet financier approvals, Melbourne-based Telstra said in a statement. Singapore and Hong Kong-based Pacnet will give Telstra an expanded data center network, more submarine cables and major customers across the region, it said.

TRAVEL

Italy fines TripAdvisor

Italy’s competition watchdog has fined travel Web site TripAdvisor 500,000 euros (US$613,000) for publishing misleading information in its reviews, it said on Monday. The fine follows a seven-month investigation into whether the Web site takes appropriate measures to avoid publishing false opinions while presenting them as genuine, following a complaint from consumers and hotel owners in Italy. The Rome-based regulator said the US company and its Italian arm should stop “publishing misleading information about the sources of its reviews,” adding that the practice started in September 2011. TripAdvisor said it disagreed with the antitrust authority’s decision and would appeal it.

INTERNET

Lines rebuts spying report

The parent company of the Line mobile-chat application yesterday denied press reports in Thailand that the military government is monitoring messages sent through the service. “No monitoring by the Thailand government has been conducted,” Nam Ji-woong, a spokesman for South Korea-based Naver Corp, which owns Line Corp, said by e-mail. The government was monitoring more than 40 million messages sent via Line each day, Khaosod newspaper reported, citing Thai Minister of Information, Communication and Technology Pornchai Rujiprapa. Pornchai said the ministry could see what messages were being forwarded and was focusing on those deemed libelous, anti-royalty or threatening national security, the report said.

INTERNET

Facebook censors dissent

The blocking of a Facebook Inc page promoting a Russian opposition rally highlights the challenges the social network faces in the country as Russian President Vladimir Putin seeks more control over the Web. Facebook agreed to block the page at the request of Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor, agency spokesman Vadim Ampelonskiy said yesterday. The watchdog asks social media to shut access to Web sites calling for mass protest and extremism, Ampelonskiy said. A Facebook representative declined to comment.

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