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Thursday, February 26, 2004 - Page updated at 01:40 P.M.
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Business Digest
Japan's fair-trade group raids Microsoft Japan


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TOKYO — Officials from Japan's fair-trade watchdog raided the Japanese unit of Microsoft today, the Tokyo-based company said.

The Fair Trade Commission inspected the headquarters office of Microsoft Japan, a spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity.

The commission said today it was investigating the company on suspicion of violating antitrust laws. The commission said it believed Microsoft imposed unfair conditions on computer makers wanting to license its Windows XP operating system software.

NW Pipeline to construct Everett-Lake Stevens line

SEATTLE — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has authorized Northwest Pipeline to construct a $24 million natural gas pipeline for Puget Sound Energy beginning in June, Puget Sound Energy announced yesterday.

Known as the Everett Delta Lateral, the pipeline will connect to the Northwest Pipeline system near Lake Stevens and extend nine miles west near the Port of Everett. The new pipeline is scheduled to enter service in November.

Nation/World

Japan Air says cracked parts traced to Singapore welder

TOKYO — Japan Airlines System Corp., which canceled almost 600 flights recently because of cracks found in the engines on some of its MD-80 planes, said the damaged parts had all previously undergone welding maintenance at a Singapore-based contractor of United Technologies.

United Technologies' Pratt & Whitney unit, the maker of the JT8 engines, overhauls the jets for Japan Air through its plant in New Zealand, airline spokesman Teiji Murayama said. The plant sends the engines' stator vanes, which were last month found to be cracked in 18 of Japan Air's 25 MD-80s, to be repaired by the Singapore-based company, which the carrier declined to name.

Records subpoenaed at ITT Technical Institutes
 
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INDIANAPOLIS — Federal agents yesterday searched the headquarters of ITT Technical Institutes and some campuses of its chain of technical schools in eight states. Shares of its parent company, ITT Educational Services, plunged 33 percent.

ITT Educational Services said the investigation involved grand jury subpoenas of records concerning student placement, retention, graduation, attendance, recruitment, grades, graduates' salaries and transfers of students' credits to other colleges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Houston, which was leading the investigation, issued a statement by U.S. Attorney Michael Shelby saying "no conclusions should be drawn from today's activity."

ITT has 77 campuses in 30 states, ITT spokeswoman Nancy Brown said. ITT has campuses in Bothell, Seattle and Spokane, which are not part of the investigation.

Compiled from Bloomberg News, Reuters and The Associated Press.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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