Court Overrules Consumer Law

A federal appeals court said banks in California don't have to get customers' consent before sharing information about them with other companies the banks own. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in a suit filed by the American Bankers Association that the Fair Credit Reporting Act preempts California's 2003 consumer law.


Google Entry Seen as Threat to PayPal

EBay shares fell on news of plans by Google to expand into electronic payments, which some analysts say would overwhelm the online auction Web site's PayPal business.

Google, the online search-engine leader, is said to be close to announcing an electronic payment system, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Analysts said Google would instantly become a formidable opponent to PayPal and pose a threat to one of eBay's largest revenue streams. PayPal accounted for $233.1 million of eBay's first-quarter revenue of $1.03 billion. Traffic Increases, a unit of McLean-based newspaper publisher Gannett, said its Web site traffic increased 15 percent in May, to 9.2 million unique visitors, driven by 36 percent year-over-year growth in its travel section.

According to Nielsen Net Ratings, about 1 million unique visitors passed through's travel site, which the company said ranks No. 17 among multi-category travel Web sites.

Mergers & Acquisitions

MTV Buys Neopets Site

Viacom's MTV Network purchased Neopets, operator of a youth-oriented entertainment Web site with 25 million members worldwide.

Terms of the transaction weren't disclosed. Neopets is based in Glendale, Calif.

Web Registrar Rejects Takeover Bid, which provides Internet domain-name registration and other Web-based services, said its board rejected a $7.10-a-share offer from RCM Acquisition as inadequate. Shares of New York-based rose 14 cents, to $7.40.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.