TRADE

WTO Rules for U.S. in Lumber Dispute

U.S. import duties on Canadian lumber now comply with international rules, the World Trade Organization ruled.

The decision means the United States will avoid $3.5 billion in sanctions that Canada said it would seek in a long-running lumber dispute. Canada said it will appeal the ruling.

EUROPEAN UNION

Commissioner Warns Against Energy Mergers

The European Commission may seek the authority to stop remnants of state energy monopolies from crippling competition in power markets.

After the commission had to refer back to Spanish authorities a request for an E.U. antitrust review of the hostile takeover bid for Gas Natural by Spanish electricity giant Endesa, Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, left, indicated that she wanted more authority over such mergers. She said they should be handled at the E.U. level because of the effect they would have on other European countries.

ENERGY

Drax Says Bid Is Still Not Enough

Drax Group, owner of Europe's largest coal-fired power plant, said a new takeover offer from Constellation Energy Group is still too low.

Baltimore-based Constellation and its investment partners offered $4.1 billion, up from a previous bid of $3.5 billion. "A majority of shareholders would not accept an offer at this level," Drax said. But Stark Investments, which owns 10 percent of Drax, said the proposal was "serious and attractive."

Drax plans to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange on Dec. 15 if investors reject Constellation's offer.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.