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Wed, Oct 05, 2005 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Internet
AOL, HP ink Netscape deal

America Online (AOL) has inked a deal to distribute its Netscape Web browser with Hewlett-Packard Co personal computers sold in the US and Canada starting early next year. It's the first PC distribution deal for an alternative browser since Microsoft Corp won the "browser wars" of the late 1990s. Under the agreement, Netscape will be preinstalled on all new HP and Compaq brand consumer PCs. New computer owners will be able to choose Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Netscape as their default browser. They will also be able to access the program from the "Start" menu and an icon on the desktop. The easy access to PC desktops gives a helping hand to Netscape, which lost its place as the dominant Internet browser after Microsoft bundled IE with its near-ubiquitous Windows operating system, which is preloaded onto PCs.

■ South Korea

Samsung execs convicted

A Seoul court yesterday convicted two Samsung executives of arranging shady deals to transfer corporate control of the country's largest conglomerate from father to son nearly a decade ago. The Seoul Central District Court convicted Hur Tae-hak, a former head of Everland, a Samsung unit that runs South Korea's largest amusement park, and another Samsung executive, Park Ro-bin, on charges of selling the children of Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee convertible bonds at prices lower than market value. The two were indicted in 2003. The 1996 deal is believed to have helped son Lee Jae-yong, now an executive at Samsung Electronics, and three daughters make some 97 billion won (US$93 million) in illegal profits.

■ United States

China expels DVD pirate

A US man convicted in China of selling pirated DVDs now faces multiple charges of copyright infringement in the US, American authorities said. Chinese officials expelled Randolph Hobson Guthrie, turning him over to US authorities in Los Angeles late last week. He was scheduled to appear in federal court yesterday for a bond hearing, according to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. After the bond hearing, Guthrie is expected to be transferred to Mississippi to face copyright infringement, trafficking and money laundering charges. The probe that led to the charges dates to September 2003, when an undercover ICE agent bought counterfeit DVDs at a Mississippi flea market.

■ Auto industry

Alliance starts work

DaimlerChrysler AG, Hyundai Motor Co and Mitsubishi Corp began production at a new plant that will supply engines for nearly two dozen vehicle models worldwide. The plant is part of the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA), a joint venture among the companies. The plant and a sister plant in Dundee, which will be completed next year, will each have the capacity to build 420,000 engines annually, DaimlerChrysler said. The two plants are among a group of five GEMA plants, including facilities in South Korea and Japan, that will eventually produce 1.8 million engines yearly. The four-cylinder GEMA engines are designed to deliver 5 percent better fuel efficiency than those they are replacing.

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