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Fri, Apr 09, 2010 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■INTERNET

FTC may block Google deal

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may seek to block Google’s purchase of mobile telephone advertising company AdMob on anti-trust grounds, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The newspaper, citing “people familiar with the matter,” said the FTC “appears to be laying the groundwork” for an anti-trust challenge to the US$750 million acquisition announced in November. A Google spokesman defended the proposed acquisition to the Journal, saying “there is overwhelming evidence that mobile advertising will remain competitive after this deal closes.”

■RESOURCES

No appeal in Rio case

Rio Tinto’s former China iron ore head Stern Hu (胡士泰) has decided not to appeal his conviction for accepting bribes and stealing commercial secrets, his lawyer said yersterday. Hu, an Australian citizen, was last month sentenced to 10 years in jail on the charges after a trial that raised concerns about China’s judicial process as well as business practices within the iron ore industry. “Mr Hu has decided not to appeal for a number of reasons, including his lawyers’ opinions,” lawyer Shi Keqiang said after meeting Hu yesterday afternoon, the last day it was possible to file an appeal.

■AUSTRALIA

Unemployment steady

Australian unemployment held steady last month at 5.3 percent, official figures showed yesterday, a much lower rate than in other advanced economies and further evidence of a recovery in full swing. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said nearly 20,000 new jobs were offset by a rise of about 4,000 people looking for work, in figures that were in line with economists’ forecasts. Unemployment has fallen from 5.8 percent in October as Australia mounts a strong and quick recovery from the global slowdown.

■JAPAN

Current account surplus rises

Japan’s current account surplus in February expanded by 29.6 percent from a year ago, thanks to a strong rise in exports outpacing the growth of imports, the finance ministry said yesterday. The surplus in the current account — the broadest measure of trade with the rest of the world — reached ¥1.47 trillion (US$15.8 billion), up ¥335.8 billion from a year ago. Exports surged 47.3 percent to ¥4.86 trillion while imports rose 31.6 percent to ¥4.09 trillion.

■STEEL

Cheung Kong sues BlueScope

The Hong Kong utility controlled by the region’s richest man, Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠), said yesterday it is suing Australia’s BlueScope Steel over a New Zealand mining deal that collapsed two years ago. Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (長江基建集團) said it had filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court of Australia accusing the company of misleading and deceptive conduct, two weeks after it confirmed it was suing Merrill Lynch over the same sale. Cheung Kong said BlueScope gave false information and failed to disclose various customer and shipping matters related to its subsidiary, New Zealand Steel Mining.

■TRADE

China, Costa Rica sign deal

China signed a free trade deal yesterday with Costa Rica, a country that only established diplomatic ties with the Asian giant in 2007, but which now joins a small group of nations who enjoy such an accord. China’s Commerce Ministry said the pact was signed in Beijing.

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