The Bush administration informed the European Union it wants to scrap a 12-year-old agreement that let E.U. members subsidize Airbus, the world's biggest plane manufacturer, a U.S. trade official said. Negotiations to replace that agreement are set to take place between U.S. and European trade officials next month. U.S. and European officials met in Brussels in July to begin working out their differences. Airbus of Toulouse, France, receives loans from the British, French and German governments that Boeing says carry below-market interest rates. President Bush told Boeing employees in Seattle last week that the Unites States will attempt to end the subsidies and will bring a case before the World Trade Organization if necessary. Democratic lawmakers have called for a WTO complaint since April.
No Iraq Holdback for Halliburton
Halliburton will continue to be paid in full for feeding and housing U.S. troops in Iraq after the Army gave the company more time to resolve a billing dispute. Federal rules stipulate that government contractors, such as Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root unit, can't be reimbursed for more than 85 percent of invoices until they submit detailed paperwork to justify their costs. The Army had twice before waived the rule for Halliburton.
Tyson Foods said the Securities and Exchange Commission staff plans to seek a civil enforcement action and possible monetary penalties against it over benefits paid to some executives. Tyson Foods also said Don Tyson, its former senior chairman, had repaid the company $1.5 million. The SEC staff alleges that proxy statements for fiscal 1997 through 2003 did not fully describe or disclose about $1.7 million in perquisites enjoyed by Tyson and that the company failed to maintain adequate internal controls on personal use of company assets and the disclosure of perquisites and personal benefits.
LifePoint Hospitals, an operator of acute care facilities in rural areas, said it will buy rival Province Healthcare for about $1.13 billion in cash and stock. LifePoint will assume about $570 million in Province debt. The companies had combined revenue of $1.7 billion in 2003.
Global Crossing, a fiber-optic network operator that came out of bankruptcy in December, plans to sell its global marine systems unit to Bridgehouse Marine for about $132 million. Global Crossing will receive as much as $14.8 million, and Bridgehouse will assume $117 million of the unit's debt, Global Crossing said in a statement.
Belo said it would pay $23 million in cash to compensate advertisers for overstated circulation at its flagship newspaper, the Dallas Morning News. The Dallas media company said it would also spend $3 million on the internal investigation into the circulation overstatement and take a $26 million charge for the quarter.
McAfee, which changed its name from Network Associates last month to focus on computer security products, plans to buy privately held Foundstone for $86 million in cash. The purchase, which McAfee plans to complete in about two months, will bring it more than 400 customers, including AT&T and Motorola.
Huffy's common stock has been suspended from trading on the New York Stock Exchange, which said the sports equipment company's market value had fallen below $50 million. Huffy said it is taking steps to trade its stock in the over-the-counter market.
Gateway, which closed its retail stores in April, said CompUSA will sell its computers. CompUSA, which has 226 stores, will sell two Gateway desktop computers in addition to eMachines computers it already sells, Gateway's senior vice president said. Gateway bought eMachines in March.
T-bill rates were mixed. The discount rate on three-month Treasury bills auctioned yesterday was unchanged at 1.47 percent. Rates on six-month bills rose to 1.725 percent, up from 1.665 percent. The actual return to investors is 1.498 percent for three-month bills, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,962.80, and 1.764 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,912.80.
Trader Publishing's division headquarters for electronic media in downtown Norfolk will undergo a $51 million expansion, creating 600 jobs, Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) said. He said Trader's decision secures 550 existing jobs in southeastern Virginia. Trader, which is best known for its Auto Trader magazines, has a weekly circulation of more than 8 million and a staff of 9,400.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts said Chief Operating Officer John W. Tate is leaving to accept an unspecified position elsewhere. Chief executive Scott A. Livengood has assumed Tate's duties, the Winston-Salem, N.C., company said in a statement.
The Managed Funds Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce asked the Securities and Exchange Commission for more time to respond to a proposal that would force hedge funds to register with the agency and to open their books for inspection. If the request is granted, the deadline would be Oct. 28.
Geico said it was ending a 28-year ban on sales in New Jersey after the state revamped its insurance regulations. Warren E. Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway holding company owns the automobile insurer, and New Jersey Bank and Insurance Commissioner Holly C. Bakke said Geico would offer policies immediately.
Richard M. Scrushy, the HealthSouth founder accused of masterminding a $2.7 billion accounting fraud, had his trial postponed to Jan. 5. An 85-count federal indictment accuses him of money laundering, conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud.
Comcast reached a multiyear agreement to carry the National Football League's television channel as a premium channel on digital cable.
The Philadelphia cable television operator will include the channel in its "Digital Plus" package, for which 8 million subscribers pay a monthly fee. Terms weren't disclosed.
Microsoft and Time Warner have made concessions in their attempt to purchase ContentGuard, an anti-piracy software maker, European antitrust officials said. The commission and company representatives declined to outline the concessions. The commission will decide by Aug. 25 whether to approve the purchase or to open a four-month, in-depth investigation.
Virgin Mobile Holdings drew complaints for an advertisement in which a bathroom attendant helps a young man urinate. The U.K. wireless company's commercial did not breach the Advertising Standards Code, said Ofcom, the British communications regulator. The 427 complaints were the most for a commercial this year, an Ofcom spokeswoman said.
DaimlerChrysler said it sold its 10.5 percent stake in South Korea's Hyundai Motors, a move that it expects will raise more than $900 million. DaimlerChrysler bought the stake for $484 million in 2000 and 2001, a spokesman said. The companies said this year that they wanted to scale back their relationship.
Libya offered 15 sites for oil and gas exploration in its first licensing round since U.S. sanctions were lifted, Libya's National Oil said. U.S. oil companies will be able to bid against European rivals for Libyan exploration and production-sharing agreements. Bids are due Jan. 10.
Lufthansa will add a fuel surcharge beginning Aug. 24. The German airline plans to charge $2.50 per flight segment on domestic and European flights and $8.70 per segment on long-distance trips. Competitor British Airways also plans surcharges.
Neighbors Coffee expanded a recall of nearly 20,000 pounds of whole-bean, nut-flavored coffee that contained almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and pecans to include 300 to 500 pounds of bulk tea containing undeclared almonds. It recalled the tea and coffee because people with allergies can suffer serious, even life-threatening, reactions to the nuts.
Discovery Communications acquired rival Aims Multimedia, a producer, publisher and distributor of educational programs based in Chatsworth, Calif. Discovery, based in Silver Spring, declined to disclose the sales price.
The New York Stock Exchange said second-quarter net income fell 54 percent, mostly because of expenses related to its lawsuit to recover some of the $140 million former chairman Dick Grasso was paid last year. The world's largest stock market said net income fell to $5.4 million from $11.6 million during the same period a year ago.
Lowe's said second-quarter profit rose 18 percent, to $704 million, compared with profit of $597 million during the same period a year ago. Sales weakened in June as bad weather in parts of the country slowed the usual increase in home-improvement projects, but they rebounded in July, the company's president said.
Sysco increased fourth-quarter earnings 16 percent, to $280.6 million, compared with $242.7 million during the same period a year ago. Sales climbed 17 percent, to $8.14 billion. The Houston company said rising costs for meat, dairy and poultry products decreased profit margins.
Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers.