Company news: Sony apologizes for game


LONDON – Sony Corp. apologized Friday to the Church of England for a violent computer game that features a bloody shootout inside an Anglican cathedral.

The church had demanded withdrawal of the game “Resistance: Fall of Man,” which includes a gunbattle between an American soldier and aliens inside a building that resembles Manchester Cathedral in northwest England.

The cathedral’s dean, the Very Rev. Rogers Govender, said he had received a letter from Sony.

The letter included the offer of a meeting between Sony representatives and church officials. Govender said the cathedral would accept the offer.

“Pearson PLC, publisher of the Financial Times, is trying to rally partners for a possible bid to rival Rupert Murdoch’s $5 billion offer for Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co., the Journal reported Friday.

Pearson, based in the United Kingdom, has approached media company Hearst Corp. as well as General Electric Co. about a possible joint offer, the Journal reported.

Murdoch’s News Corp. has offered $60 a share for Dow Jones, well above the mid-$30s range the stock had been trading at prior to his offer becoming public. Many analysts believe his price is too high to be countered.

Dow Jones’ controlling shareholders, the Bancroft family, initially rebuffed Murdoch’s approach but then agreed to meet him to discuss their concerns that the Journal remain editorially independent.

“Monsanto Co., the world’s biggest seed company, announced Friday it is raising profit expectations for the year because of strong corn seed and herbicide sales.

After reviewing sales figures from the spring planting season, Monsanto boosted its 2007 earnings per share estimate to a range of $1.75 to $1.80 from the earlier estimate of $1.60 to $1.65.

“We’re having extraordinary performance in an extraordinary year for agriculture,” Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant said in a statement. Monsanto’s stock climbed $1.81 – or nearly 3 percent – to $65.12 during morning trading Friday.


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