Business & Finance

The formal launching of Movielink, a service that allows high-speed Internet users to downlink recent popular Hollywood films, was expected Monday. Users will pay from $1.99 to $4.99 per title for the service, a joint venture announced last year by Universal Studios, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. It will compete with Internet- and cable-based CinemaNow, although offering a wider selection of hits.

El Paso Corp. will become the latest energy-trader to abandon that business, The Wall Street Journal reported. The decision comes six months after the Houston-based company announced it would cut such activity by half. The move is expected to cost an after-tax charge of at least $400 million in the fourth quarter as El Paso returns to an exclusive focus as a pipeline operator and producer of natural gas. Dynegy and the Williams Companies earlier announced they were giving up the controversial energy-trading business.

Despite an announcement that it will lay off 2,700 flight attendants beginning Jan. 1, United Airlines won tentative agreement from their union on a 5-1/2-year, $412 million pay cut to help stave off bankruptcy. The agreement, which must be OK'd by members of the Association of Flight Attendants, leaves only the carrier's unionized machinists and flight dispatchers still to make pay concessions. United's pilots agreed to $2.2 billion in givebacks last week.

Pirelli, one of the world's largest makers of fiber-optic systems and undersea cable, will cut 2,400 jobs – 90 percent of them outside Italy, its base, an announcement said. The company is a sister unit of the Milan-based tiremaker.

Another 1,500 jobs will be eliminated by Commerzbank, Germany's fourth-largest, a source familiar with the company's decisionmaking told Agence France-Press. The source said the layoffs would be divided among Commerzbank's Frankfurt headquarters and its New York and Tokyo offices. The cuts come on top of 4,300 others announced earlier this year.

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