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Fri, May 12, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Internet
ICANN drops adult site idea

Faced with opposition from conservative groups and some pornography Web sites, the Internet's key oversight agency voted to reject a proposal to create a red-light district on the Internet. The decision on Wednesday from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) reverses its preliminary approval last June to create a ".xxx" domain name for voluntary use by the adult entertainment industry. ICANN chief executive Paul Twomey said the decision largely came down to whether the creation of "xxx" might put ICANN in a difficult position of having to enforce all of the world's laws governing pornography.

■ Communications

Time may bid for wireless

Time Warner Inc's cable TV unit is considering a bid for cellphone spectrum licenses together with three other cable companies and Sprint Nextel Corp. The chief executive of Time Warner Cable, Glenn Britt, told an analyst conference in New York on Wednesday that the group will file an application with the Federal Communications Commission that would allow it to participate in an auction of spectrum for advanced wireless services, which will begin on June 29. Time Warner Cable is already in a partnership with Sprint and three other cable TV companies -- industry leader Comcast Corp, Cox Communications Inc and Advance/Newhouse Communications Inc -- to offer cellphone service to cable customers. The consortium has said it plans to market Sprint's cellphone service in seven test markets by the end of the year, a Time Warner Cable spokeswoman said. Britt said it was not yet clear whether the group would bid for the spectrum or what its plans for the licenses would be.

■ Communications

Music videos in the offing

Japan's top mobile operator, NTT DoCoMo Inc, said yesterday it will start a next-generation service letting phone users download music videos, aiming to outdo its rivals' success with online music. The new service, which will start as soon as next month, uses a high-speed data transmission technology to allow downloads at 10 times the speed of DoCoMo's third generation (3G) FOMA handsets. It will be part of the 3G-pioneering company's "3.5 Generation" telephones. "With the release of our new handsets this summer, we will upgrade a variety of our services including the music-downloading and e-wallet services, some of which will only be available with our 3.5G next-generation handsets," said Hiroto Nakagawa, spokesman for NTT DoCoMo.

■ Appliances

Whirlpool to lay off 4,500

Whirlpool Corp, the world's largest appliance maker, will close three plants and eliminate some 4,500 jobs -- more than 5 percent of its workforce -- to cut costs after its US$1.68 billion purchase of Maytag Corp, the company said on Wednesday. Whirlpool said the aim is to restore competitiveness at Maytag, which has kept manufacturing concentrated in the US. Former Maytag washer and dryer plants in Herrin, Illinois, and Searcy, Arkansas, will close by the end of the year, Whirlpool said. The planned job cuts include 1,800 salaried employees. Overall, the firings represent 5.6 percent of Whirlpool's 80,000 workers, Bloomberg said. About 1,500 position at other locations will be added eventually, Whirlpool said in a statement. Whirlpool bought Maytag in March.

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