TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Verizon, SBC Move Toward Texas TV Service

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) signed a bill that will make it easier for Verizon Communications and SBC Communications to sell television service in the state. The laws scrap a requirement that forces the telephone companies to get local government permission before they can offer TV service. On his Web site, Perry said the law will create more competition for TV services.

legal

Geico, Google Settle Lawsuit

Auto insurer Geico and Internet search company Google settled a lawsuit Geico had filed over the placement of competitors' advertisements next to search results for its name.

The case was resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, Geico said, and the terms of the settlement are confidential.

Judge Questions Former Microsoft Executive

A judge questioned whether a former Microsoft vice president was truthful when he testified about his intentions to return to the company following a sabbatical. Kai-Fu Lee said he told Microsoft in April and June that he would return to the company after his sabbatical ended July 18. That was the very day he accepted Google's offer to open its research center in China. The exchange came on the second day of a hearing in Seattle, where Lee is at the center of an employment dispute between Microsoft, the world's largest software company, and Google, the most-used Web search engine. Microsoft filed a suit on July 18 claiming that Lee broke a non-compete contract by agreeing to open Google's China facility.

Microsoft Files 2nd Appeal With E.U.

Microsoft has filed a second appeal against a European Union ruling that ordered it to share code with open-source software companies. Microsoft spokesman Tom Brookes said the new appeal before the E.U.'s second-highest court comes in the wake of a June agreement with the E.U. head office to let the courts decide the source-code issue. "We are taking this step so the court can begin its review now of this issue, given its far-reaching implications for the protection of our intellectual property rights around the world," he said.

software

Microsoft to Simplify Business Applications

Microsoft aims to make its accounting and customer service programs easier to use to increase sales to mid-size firms. New versions of business applications for companies with fewer than 1,000 workers will use Word, Excel and Outlook, to view and manage payroll, finance and customer data, a Microsoft senior vice president said.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.