News In Brief

The recording industry asked a federal court in San Francisco to shut down popular Internet song-swap company Napster Inc. Two music associations filed a preliminary injunction motion, alleging that the San Mateo, Calif.-based company breeds online piracy, which decreases CD sales, especially near college campuses. Napster already is the target of a Recording Industry Association of America lawsuit, filed in December, which makes the same allegation.

Equant, which calls itself the world's largest data network, is the object of a new takeover battle that could cost $10 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported. The publication said an exclusive negotiating deadline for France Telecom had expired, opening the door to a rival bid by Global Crossing Ltd. of Hamilton, Bermuda. Equant, with headquarters in Amsterdam, provides managed- data services, although its key business is a global airline reservation system.

The telecommunications industry tightened still further in Europe, with Norway's state-owned Telenor ASA announcing it will acquire controlling interest in Danish cellphone company Sonofon for $1.7 billion. Sonofon has roughly 890,000 subscribers. The remainder of its shares (46.5 percent) are owned by Atlanta-based Bell South Corp.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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