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Wed, Oct 10, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ TEXTILES

EU to scrap China quota

The European Commission and China have agreed to scrap the quota restrictions on Chinese textiles next year in favor of a monitoring system, the EU's executive arm said yesterday. The quotas will be replaced by a textile import "double checking system," which will track both the issuing of export licenses in China and the import of goods into the EU, the commission said. "I welcome this further step in the cooperation between the EU and China in ensuring a smooth transition to free trade in textiles," EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said in a statement.

■ TELECOMS

Sprint Nextel boss quits

Sprint Nextel Corp, the third-largest US wireless provider, said on Monday that Gary Forsee, its chairman, president and chief executive, is stepping down, effective immediately. Sprint said it decided to replace Forsee based on its board's belief that it is the "right time to put in place new leadership." The company also warned it expects to report a net loss of approximately 337,000 post-paid subscribers in the third quarter and projects this year's operating revenue will be slightly below its previously targeted range of US$41 billion to US$42 billion.

■ AUTOMOBILES

UAW sets Chrysler deadline

Fresh off a two-day strike at General Motors Corp, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union has set a strike deadline of today for contract negotiations with Chrysler LLC, a source close to the negotiations said on Monday. The union will not necessarily walk off the job if an agreement is not reached by the deadline of 11am today, the source said. Negotiations could be extended on an hourly or daily basis. The UAW is using a landmark agreement reached with GM as a framework for negotiations with Chrysler. But Chrysler officials have said that the firm's new owner -- private equity group Cerberus Capital Management -- does not want to pay to transfer the administration of retiree health care to the union.

■ INVESTMENT

Sallie Mae to sue investor

Sallie Mae said on Monday that it was suing the investor group that had offered to acquire the US' largest student lender in order to force the buyers to go through with their original US$25 billion deal or else pay a US$900 million breakup fee. The buyers group, led by private equity company J.C. Flowers & Co, has said that student loan legislation signed into law by US President George W. Bush last month, in addition to weaker economic conditions, made the US$60-a-share price agreed upon in April unacceptable. Sallie Mae said it expected the buyers to honor their contract.

■ ENTERTAINMENT

PlayStation 3 prices cut

Sony Corp's game unit said yesterday that it would cut the prices of its next generation PlayStation 3 game consoles in Japan next week and offer a new low-range model next month. Sony Computer Entertainment Inc will cut the price of its model with 20 gigabytes of hard disk memory by about 10 percent to ¥44,980 (US$384) from ¥49,980, effective Oct. 17, it said in a statement on its Web site. The price of the 60GB models will be cut to about ¥54,980. A new lower-tier 40GB model will hit Japanese stores on Nov. 11 at a suggested retail price of ¥39,980.

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