FTC Probes Advertising for Grand Theft Auto

Take Two Interactive Software said the Federal Trade Commission opened an inquiry into how the company advertised Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, its No. 1-selling video game. New York-based Take Two said it will cooperate with the agency's investigation. The federal probe steps up scrutiny of a game that last week had its rating changed to "adults only" from "mature" because it contains hidden sexual content.

EARNINGS's Second-Quarter Profit Falls said second-quarter profit fell to $52 million, down 32 percent from the comparable period last year, as income tax expenses jumped to $56 million from $5 million. The company said second-quarter sales climbed 26 percent, to $1.75 billion.

Electronic Arts Swings to a Loss

Electronic Arts reported a loss of $58 million in its fiscal first quarter, compared with a profit of $24 million in the comparable period ended June 30, 2004. Revenue at the world's largest video-game maker fell 16 percent.

Texas Instruments Profit Jumps 42%

Texas Instruments said its second-quarter earnings rose 42 percent, to $628 million, thanks to lower inventory levels among customers and robust demand for chips in electronic gadgets.

EarthLink Profit Falls on Dial-Up Sales Drop

EarthLink posted a 12 percent drop in second-quarter profit, to $43.8 million from $49.7 million in the comparable quarter a year earlier, as subscribers moved away from its premium dial-up service. Revenue fell 7 percent, to $325.7 million. EarthLink said dial-up revenue sank 15 percent, to $188.4 million, but broadband services revenue rose 6 percent, to $112.1 million.


IBM Unveils Mainframe Built for Data Security

International Business Machines renewed its lucrative line of mainframe computers with a new system aimed at helping banks, government agencies and other big customers keep data secure. IBM spent $1.2 billion over the past three years developing the new mainframe, the Z9, which it says offers twice the processing power and twice the memory of IBM's current top mainframe. The price starts at about $1 million.

Separately, IBM said its board approved a plan to repatriate about $9 billion in foreign profit. IBM will post a $450 million tax charge in the third quarter related to the repatriation.

Brian Krebs will blog this week from the Black Hat computer security conference in Las Vegas.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.