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Archive for Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Business Briefcase

October 30, 2002

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Research: ProQuest signs deal with pharmaceutical firm

Officials with Lawrence-based ProQuest announced Tuesday that the company has entered into a research and development agreement with Ricerca Biosciences.

The agreement with the Ohio-based pharmaceutical company calls for the two firms to work together to create new drugs that use technology developed by ProQuest.

ProQuest is a spin-off of research conducted at Kansas University that focuses on creating improved delivery platforms for existing drugs.

The agreement calls for ProQuest and Ricerca to share product royalties and revenues from the new drugs created, but it doesn't disclose specific terms of the deal.

Attempts to reach Ozzie Wong, ProQuest president, were unsuccessful.

Price fixing: Kansas settles lawsuit over Foreman grills

Kansas is among 44 states that have reached a deal with the manufacturer of the George Foreman Grills for alleged price fixing, Kansas Atty. Gen. Carla Stovall said Tuesday.

The 44 states agreed to a $7.6 million settlement to end an antitrust lawsuit it filed against Salton Inc. The lawsuit alleges the company coerced retailers into fixing the price for the grill and excluding other competitors grills from their stores.

The $7.6 million will be split between the states and will be distributed to charitable organizations or government agencies.

Wall Street: Qwest to restate profits

Qwest Communications International Inc. plans to restate $531 million in revenue that was prematurely recorded and estimated it would write down the value of its assets by at least $35 billion.

The disclosures in a regulatory filing Monday evening by the Denver-based regional telecommunications service provider come amid a review of its accounting practices.

In trading Tuesday, Qwest shares fell 8 percent to $3.18 on the New York Stock Exchange. The company is scheduled to release its third-quarter earnings today.

Computers: Verizon reaches deal on spam e-mail practices

One of the world's most prolific purveyors of bulk e-mail, or spam, has been barred from sending messages to Verizon customers under a legal settlement.

Under the agreement, Verizon's 1.64 million Internet customers in 40 states will no longer receive spam from Alan Ralsky, whose Michigan-based company, Additional Benefits LLC, is considered one of the largest sources of bulk e-mail.

Verizon filed its lawsuit against Ralsky in March 2001 in Virginia federal court after several 2000 incidents in which Verizon Online customers were inundated by millions of e-mail solicitations from companies that work with Ralsky, said Verizon spokeswoman Bobbi Henson.

Manufacturing: Japanese firms report decline for electronics

Stung by competition from Asia and falling demand for electronics worldwide, Japan's Fujitsu and Sanyo Electric Co. reported depressed earnings Tuesday, and Fujitsu said it would cut 7,100 more jobs.

Tokyo-based Fujitsu said it suffered $1.19 billion net loss in the six months to Sept. 30. Sanyo Electric said net profits dropped 61 percent to $19.9 million in the first six months through September.

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