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Originally published Monday, August 25, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Technology Briefs

Canada to review Google-Yahoo deal

Google and Yahoo face a review of their proposed advertising partnership by Canada's competition watchdog. "It's a sizable agreement and...

Internet

Google and Yahoo face a review of their proposed advertising partnership by Canada's competition watchdog.

"It's a sizable agreement and we're going to take a close, hard look at it," Anthony Durocher, a senior competition-law officer with the Competition Bureau, said late last week.

The companies, which also are trying to persuade U.S. regulators to approve the agreement, want to start the partnership by October.

Google told U.S. lawmakers last month that the advertising deal will expand competition without increasing its share of search traffic. Yahoo ranks a distant second to Google in Internet queries and search ads.

"The market dynamics are roughly the same" in Canada as in the U.S., said Kevin Restivo, an analyst with IDC in Toronto. So if the partnership is approved in the U.S., there would be little reason for Canadian regulators to block it, he said.

Computers

Intel, Micron delay plant opening again

Intel and Micron Technology, suffering losses spurred by an industry glut, will for a second time delay opening a memory-chip plant in Singapore.

The factory's production of so-called Nand flash-memory chips will start in the first half of 2010, about six months later than planned, said Chuck Mulloy, a spokesman for Intel. The plant was originally scheduled to open in the second half of this year.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini has promised to halt losses at the joint venture, which began in 2005, or consider getting rid of Intel's portion.

Bankruptcy

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Mrs. Fields' files Chapter 11

Mrs. Fields' Original Cookies Sunday announced that it and certain of its subsidiaries have filed voluntary bankruptcy petitions under Chapter 11. As part of the filing, the company has also filed its prepackaged Plan of Reorganization.

The prepackaged bankruptcy will significantly improve the company's balance sheet by exchanging approximately $195 million in bondholder debt for cash, new bonds and a controlling equity stake in the reorganized company The company plans to continue operating each of its businesses without interruption during the prepackaged bankruptcy.

Technology

Palm adds 2nd Treo to challenge rivals

Palm has introduced a second Treo e-mail phone in less than two months to challenge Research In Motion's BlackBerry and Apple's iPhone, and end four straight quarters of losses.

The Treo Pro will sell for $549 in the U.S. later this year without a carrier partner, allowing users to run it on a variety of networks, Palm said.

To snap a three-quarter sales slump, Palm is trying to lure customers from the $199 iPhone 3G with updated e-mail features and a new BlackBerry that lets users edit documents and watch video.

Biotechnology

Genentech eyes retention plan

Genentech, the biggest U.S. maker of cancer drugs, said it may spend $371 million for a bonus plan to keep its work force during a takeover bid by Roche Holding AG.

Chief Executive Officer Arthur Levinson would be eligible for $8.74 million on June 30, 2009, under the retention and severance plans adopted by a special board committee for the company's 10,700 employees, Genentech said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The bonuses, in lieu of stock-option grants, would cut earnings by 22 cents a share from 2008 to 2010 if fully paid.

Computer services

IBM spends $300M to protect data

International Business Machines, the world's largest provider of computer services, is spending $300 million on 13 new disaster-recovery centers to help customers protect their data.

IBM will add centers this year in locations such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Warsaw and Izmir, Turkey, Vice President Mike Riegel said. The Armonk, N.Y.- based company now has 155 of the facilities, which help customers maintain data and stay online in emergencies.

Natural disasters and the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have prompted more companies to safeguard their files.

IBM aims to take a bigger piece of the $12.9 billion disaster-recovery market by letting customers reach their data remotely.

Compiled from Bloomberg News

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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