Senate Panel Approves Digital TV Deadline

The Senate Commerce Committee yesterday approved a bill that would set April 7, 2009, as the deadline to end analog TV broadcasts and would earmark $3 billion to help consumers afford the transition to digital signals. The 19 to 3 vote sets up a battle with the House Commerce Committee, whose latest draft bill would fix the deadline at Dec. 31, 2008, and would keep the subsidy below $1 billion, according to a summary obtained by The Washington Post.

Killian to Run MCI Unit After Takeover

Verizon Communications said John F. Killian will run the business unit formed when it completes its $8.44 billion purchase of MCI. Killian, now chief financial officer of Verizon's domestic telecom business, will take over from MCI chief Michael D. Capellas.


Former CEO Agrees to Spyware Penalties

Brad Greenspan, former chief executive of Intermix Media, a company accused of secretly installing adware and spyware on millions of home computers, agreed to pay $750,000 in penalties after an investigation, New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer said. In April, Spitzer sued Los Angeles-based Intermix, and the company subsequently agreed to pay $7.5 million in penalties. Greenspan served as chief executive from July 2002 to October 2003. Investigators said he directed employees to bundle adware with other free programs and to make the software difficult to remove. Greenspan did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement.


Senators Propose More High-Tech Visas

The Senate Judiciary Committee proposed issuing 30,000 more visas yearly to high-tech and other skilled foreign employees at higher fees to help trim the budget deficit. The move came as high-tech firms and other businesses complained that, for the third year in a row, they have already met the annual cap on the popular H-1B visas just 20 days into the federal fiscal year. Congress capped H-1B visas at 65,000 annually in 2004.

SAP reported a 15 percent increase in its third-quarter profit, to $399.1 million. Revenue at the German software maker rose 13 percent, to $2.4 billion.

SBC Communications said third-quarter profit fell 41 percent, to $1.25 billion, from the comparable period a year earlier. Sales were flat at $10.32 billion.

TNS, a Reston company that provides communications for credit card, ATM and other financial transactions, reported revenue was essentially flat in the third quarter, at $64.8 million, compared with $64.6 million a year earlier. Profit was $2.6 million (12 cents a share), down from $2.8 million (10 cents) in the year-ago quarter.

Visual Networks of Rockville, which provides systems to manage technology such as Internet phone-calling, reported a 16 percent decrease in revenue in the third quarter, to $11.6 million from $13.8 million a year earlier. Profit rose to $691,000 (2 cents a share) from $246,000 (1 cent) a year ago.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.