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Sat, Feb 11, 2006 - Page 12 News List

World Business Briefs

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■ Securities

Livedoor indictments sought

Japan's securities watchdog will file a criminal complaint with prosecutors against Livedoor, raising the chances that shares in the once high-flying Internet firm will be delisted, reports said yesterday. The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission also plans to bring the complaint against Livedoor founder Takafumi Horie, three other executives and affiliate Livedoor Marketing, Jiji Press news agency and other reports said. The commission was reportedly set to take action as early as yesterday, arguing they violated the securities law by cooking accounts of Livedoor Marketing and releasing wrong information on the purchase of a publishing firm in 2004. It will ask prosecutors to indict the two companies and four executives, the reports said.

■ Aviation

Cheap airline pioneer dies

Sir Freddie Laker, the British entrepreneur seen as the pioneer of charter airlines, has died in the US aged 83, the BBC reported yesterday. Laker, who introduced cheap air travel to the world in the 1970s, died of undisclosed causes in Miami, a family friend told the BBC. Laker founded the company Laker Airways in 1966, offering cut-price tickets between London and New York, in what is now seen as the forerunner of the budget airline boom. His business folded in 1982. British tycoon and owner of Virgin Atlantic, Richard Branson, yesterday called Laker "one of Britain's great entrepreneurs." "If it hadn't been for Sir Freddie you wouldn't most likely have had Virgin Atlantic or Easyjet," Branson said.

■ Aviation

Malaysia opens terminal

Malaysia said yesterday it will launch its new airport terminal for budget airlines on March 23, two days before neighboring Singapore's Changi Airport opens a rival low-cost wing. The Low Cost Carrier Terminal, located at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), will initially be used by Southeast Asia's top budget airline AirAsia, but other carriers are expected to come on board, Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy said. "We welcome other low cost carriers to operate here. At the moment, we have received a few responses from other carriers," he was quoted as saying by national news agency Bernama after touring the terminal. Malaysia decided to build the dedicated terminal to help the KLIA compete as a regional hub and counter competition from neighbors Singapore and Thailand.

■ Computers

Microsoft plans expansion

Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it would spend US$1 billion over the next three years to increase the size of its Redmond, Washington, headquarters campus. The software giant said a development agreement was approved by the city of Redmond last May to expand the company's headquarters over the next 15 to 20 years. About half of the development will be completed by 2009, the company said, adding that the newly expanded headquarters will be one of the largest corporate campuses in the world. Coupled with leased spaces, the 14 new buildings will be able to house 12,000 people based on the current layout. By June 2009, an extra 290,000m2 will be available. The company will contribute US$35 million for road and other infrastructure improvements in Redmond.

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