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Business in brief: Google-Yahoo ad deal to be fought

Sat., May 10, 2008

Groups didn’t wait for an official announcement to voice opposition to an advertising partnership between Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc.

A coalition of 16 civil rights and rural advocacy groups on Friday urged federal regulators to investigate the potential combination. The Center for Digital Democracy, a consumer advocacy group, said it will push U.S. regulators to block any such deal.

The groups noted that Google has about 70 percent of the search advertising market, and Yahoo 20 percent.

– Associated Press


WorkSource center honored

The Spokane WorkSource center is the best one-stop shop among 1,800 centers in the United States, according to the International Association of Workforce Professionals.

This is the seventh year for the award, which will be presented at a June 9 conference in Virginia. The association has 13,000 members.

Steve Ruggles, president of the association’s Washington chapter, noted the award is the fifth for a WorkSource office in the state.

The center, with government, community college and nonprofit organization participation, provides employment services to individuals and business.

– Bert Caldwell


More rigs trying to find oil, gas

The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States rose by seven this week to 1,846.

Of the rigs running nationwide, 1,475 were exploring for natural gas and 361 for oil, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday. Ten were listed as miscellaneous.

A year ago, the rig count stood at 1,740.

Baker Hughes has tracked rig counts since 1944. The tally peaked at 4,530 in 1981, during the height of the oil boom. The industry posted several record lows in 1999, bottoming out at 488.

– Associated Press


Record doses due for flu vaccine

Manufacturers expect to make a record number of flu vaccine doses, even though this year’s vaccine was largely ineffective.

The five companies that supply U.S. markets plan to make at least 143 million doses for the 2008-2009 season. They made 140 million doses for the current season – the worst in four years for adult deaths from flu and pneumonia.

Each year, health officials make an educated guess and formulate a vaccine against three viruses. Two of the three strains for the current season were not good matches, and the vaccine was only 44 percent effective overall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite that, CSL Biotherapies is tripling its production. Other manufacturers are Sanofi Pasteur Inc.; Novartis Vaccines; GlaxoSmithKline PLC; and MedImmune Vaccines Inc.

– Associated Press


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