U.S. to Keep Control of Internet Traffic

The U.S. government will retain oversight of the main computers that control Internet traffic, ignoring calls by some countries to turn the function over to an international body, a senior official said.

Michael D. Gallagher, assistant secretary for communications and information at the Commerce Department, said the declaration was in response to growing security threats and increased reliance on the Internet globally for communications and commerce.


FCC May Revise Ownership Rules

The Federal Communications Commission will seek public comment this month on whether the agency should change media ownership rules that limit acquisitions by television and radio broadcasters, Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy said.

New rules may take until 2007 to be approved, Abernathy said.


AT&T Shareholders Clear SBC Deal

AT&T shareholders approved a proposed $16 billion takeover by SBC Communications, bringing the deal closer to completion, AT&T announced from its shareholder meeting in Denver.

SBC expects the acquisition to close late this year or in early 2006. The Justice Department, Federal Communications Commission, 11 states and five foreign governments must still approve the merger.


Bills on Cities' Authority Over TV Introduced

U.S. lawmakers moved to help telephone companies compete in the $76.1 billion residential television market by proposing legislation that would limit the authority of cities. Sens. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W. Va.) are co-sponsoring a bill to end city-by-city licensing of new video providers trying to compete with cable TV, Smith spokesman Chris Matthews said. A similar bill in the House is co-sponsored by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Albert R. Wynn (D-Md.), Blackburn's spokesman said.


PalmOne Profit Jumps 33 Percent

Handheld-computer maker PalmOne said fourth-quarter profit increased 33 percent, to $17.7 million. Sales rose 26 percent, to $335.8 million.

The Milpitas, Calif., company said the increase was fueled by sales of its Treo "smart phone" and other products.


MTV Executive to Head Comcast-Sony Venture

Comcast hired MTV executive Diane Robina as president of its venture with Sony to develop new cable networks based on Sony's film and TV library. Robina will determine the new networks' genres and oversee start-up and daily operations, said Comcast.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.