News In Brief

The US senate rejected a White House-backed plan to limit lawsuits stemming from the year-2000 computer problem, after Republicans said it offered too little protection to high-tech companies. The 57-to-41 vote cleared the way for the Senate to take up a GOP proposal favored by big business. The White House has threatened to veto the latter measure, saying it would hurt consumers.

US companies received $301 billion in revenue last year from online-related goods and services, a new study found. The figures put the Internet portion of the economy on par with more established sectors like automobiles and telecommunications. The University of Texas report, based on interviews with some 3,000 firms involved in the Internet economy, was financed by Cisco Systems. Nearly half the reported revenue came from hardware and software used to create the infrastructure for electronic commerce.

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