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Business in brief: Google stock hits new record high

Sat., Sept. 22, 2007

Google Inc.’s stock reached a new high Friday, reflecting Wall Street’s renewed faith in the Internet search leader as it introduces new ways for advertisers to reach its steadily expanding online audience.

The shares climbed to $560.55 in midday trading, eclipsing the previous peak of $558.58 attained in mid-July, just days before the Mountain View-based company disillusioned investors with a second-quarter profit that fell below analyst estimates.

Google shares settled back to $560.29, up $7.51. That left the 9-year-old company with a market value of almost $175 billion, more than long-established technology bellwethers like Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM Corp.

The latest run-up in Google’s stock represents a turnaround from a little over a month ago when the shares briefly dipped below $500 amid the stock market turmoil triggered by a home mortgage meltdown that raised fears about a recession.

Those worries have lessened because of the Federal Reserve Bank’s decision to lower short-term interest rates by 0.5 percentage point in a move expected to free up more money for consumers and businesses to spend.

Google stands to benefit because it runs the largest advertising network on the world’s hottest marketing medium, the Internet.

New York

‘Richie Ramone’ sues over songs

Hey, ho, let’s go … to court.

A drummer who spent four years in one of the greatest punk bands of all time, The Ramones, filed a federal lawsuit Friday claiming he is owed nearly $1 million in royalties on songs sold over the Internet.

Richard “Richie Ramone” Reinhardt, who performed with the Ramones between 1983 and 1987, sued Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Apple Inc., RealNetworks Inc., the band’s management and the estate of its lead guitarist, claiming he had never fully signed over the rights to the six songs he wrote for the group.

Specifically, Reinhardt said there was never any written deal authorizing the sale of those songs digitally. He said he is owed at least $900,000 in royalties, and asked the court to issue an injunction preventing further use of his compositions without permission.

Along with the digital music stores, the lawsuit names a pair of production companies associated with the band and the estate of guitarist John Cummings, who performed under the name Johnny Ramone.

The Ramones helped define punk after forming their band in New York in 1974. They performed for 22 years, with various members, before their last show in 1996.

Los Angeles

Fox TV shows free on iTunes

The season premieres of seven Fox Broadcasting shows will be offered on Apple Inc.’s iTunes store for free in the latest example of TV networks using the Web to create interest in their shows.

Fox will post episodes this week of returning series such as “Prison Break” and “Bones,” along with new shows such as “K-Ville.”

The shows will be available for one week.

Other networks have made free episodes available for downloading on iTunes.


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