Business & Finance

The French government will be Alstom's top shareholder, with a 31 percent stake, under a $3.2 billion refinancing plan announced by the troubled engineering group. The rescue package still must be approved by current shareholders and will face European Union (EU) scrutiny as a possible state subsidy.

Warning that Microsoft may face fines, the EU's executive Commission said preliminary conclusions of its four-year antitrust probe indicate the US software giant continues to use its "overwhelmingly dominant" position to try to monopolize markets for server and media software. The Commission recommended changes such as sharing additional code with competitors and offering versions of Windows either without Media Player or with rivals' software. EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti said Microsoft has "a last opportunity to comment" before a final decision is made.

The US government may suspend business with Sprint after the telecommunications firm overcharged the Justice Department more than $2 million between 2000 and 2002. Sprint said there was no intent to defraud and blamed a billing error. The threat to suspend Sprint, which has government contracts worth more than $600 million a year, comes a week after MCI was barred from new federal contracts amid rerouting allegations.

Hyundai Motor Co. workers ended a partial strike, a spokesman for South Korea's top carmaker said, after management and union leaders agreed in principle to raise wages 8.6 percent and to trim the workweek from six days to five. The walkout began June 25 and inflicted $1 billion in production losses.

Creditors of bankrupt KirchMedia agreed to sell a majority stake in Germany's second-biggest private TV broadcaster, ProSiebenSat.1, to Hollywood mogul Haim Saban. The deal was reportedly valued at $1.3 billion.

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