Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Business digest


Calls were diverted, AT&T alleges in court

Enquirer wire services

NEW YORK - Long-distance giant MCI avoided paying access fees to local phone companies by diverting calls to Canada - including calls placed by the State Department and other government agencies, AT&T Corp. charged Monday.

AT&T suggested in a court filing that MCI was recklessly placing national interests at risk. The claims were made in a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, which is considering efforts by WorldCom Inc. to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

MCI is WorldCom's long-distance division.

J.P. Morgan, Citigroup settle in Enron suit

NEW YORK - J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup reached settlements with the federal government Monday for their roles in the manipulation of Enron's finances, paying $236 million that will go to victims of the energy trader's massive fraud.

The payments settle civil charges that J.P. Morgan and Citigroup helped Enron mislead investors by creating complex transactions that made its financial condition appear sound when the company was actually drowning in debt. The Securities and Exchange Commission says the banking giants knew Enron wanted the transactions specifically to improve its bottom line.

Interest rates increase on short-term T-bills

WASHINGTON - Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities rose in Monday's auction.

The Treasury Department sold $16 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.945 percent, up from 0.895 percent last week. An additional $17 billion was sold in six-month bills at a rate of 0.980 percent, up from 0.950 percent.

Roxio shares fall 3.8% on Internet plans

Roxio Inc. shares fell 3.8 percent after the company said it will start a fee-based version of Napster, the Internet file-sharing service shut down by music industry lawsuits, by the end of the year.

Roxio has licensed 500,000 songs from record companies and will sell them on a monthly subscription or song-by-song basis.

'Finding Nemo' top-grossing animation

Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Co.'s undersea adventure, Finding Nemo, has become became the highest-grossing animated film in the U.S. and Canada, beating Disney's 1994 release The Lion King.

Finding Nemo brought in $4.39 million over the weekend, bringing its total to $313.1 million in its nine-week run.

The Lion King brought in $312.9 million.




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