AFX, Bloomberg News, International Herald Tribune, The Associated Press
Published: November 7, 2006
LOS ANGELES: Disney studio to make games for Nintendo only
Walt Disney said Tuesday that it was creating a video game studio to make titles exclusively for Nintendo machines in an attempt to bring its animated characters to a wider audience.
The studio, called Fall Line, will be based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and run by Scott Novis, who led the team that created the game based on the Pixar film "Cars." Designers for Novis will build games for the Nintendo "Wii" console, which goes on sale this month, as well as the existing "DS" and "Game Boy" hand-held players.
Disney has spent $200 million in the past two years to buy or start game-development studios. The company will spend an additional $200 million in the next two years, said Graham Hopper, general manager of Disney's Buena Vista Games. Fall Line is the fourth game developer Disney has bought or started in the past 19 months. $@
Venture formed to bring MySpace to Japan
TOKYO: MySpace, the social network owned by News Corp., and the Japanese Internet company Softbank are starting a 50-50 joint venture to bring MySpace to Japan.
Each company will invest ?590 million, or $5 million, in the new company, which adds to MySpace's international operations in Britain, Germany, France, Australia and Ireland.
Social networking sites are growing rapidly in Japan and are thought to have more than 10 million users, according to the Nihon Keizai newspaper. $@(AP)
France T?l?com unit formed to invest in films
STOCKHOLM: France T?l?com is setting up a unit to invest in French and European films.
The new company will invest in both co-productions and purchases of rights to catalogues. It will be part of France T?l?com's content division, which is run by Patricia Langrand, and aims to co-produce 10 to 15 films a year. The move is part of a strategy to offer more content to customers over broadband Internet, mobile phones and television through its Orange brand. $@(Bloomberg)
Hacking arrests in Chile
SANTIAGO: The police in Chile arrested four people suspected of belonging to a group accused of breaking into more than 8,000 government Web sites around the globe, including that of the U.S. space agency.
The four were arrested Monday in the capital of Santiago and the nearby cities of San Bernardo and Rancagua. Mario Schilling, a prosecutor, said they could be charged with "electronic sabotage" and face prison terms of up to five years. One of the suspects is Leonardo Hern?ndez, 23, who was known in cyberspace as Nettoxic and is wanted in several countries, the police said. $@(AP)
EU roaming fee survey
BRUSSELS: The European Union said a survey of nearly 25,000 people across the 25-nation group showed that consumers are using their mobile phones less and even turning them off when they travel abroad because of high roaming charges.
The survey found that 59 percent would use their phone more if the charges were lower. In July, EU regulators proposed forcing operators to cut international mobile phone call fees by as much as 70 percent.
The GSM Association, representing cellphone operators, countered by citing a survey that showed the average price for making or receiving a call when in another EU country had fallen 22 percent since 2005, to 65 cents, or 83 U.S. cents, a minute. $@(Bloomberg, IHT)
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS announced a foldable device that combines phone, personal computer and music player and would use WiMax, an emerging wireless broadband technology that Samsung is pushing as a global standard. The device weighs about one pound, or 450 grams, and contains a foldout keyboard, 5-inch, or 13-centimeter, screen, 30 gigabyte hard drive and Windows XP software. No price or availability details were given. $@(AP)
SONY ERICSSON Mobile Communications agreed to buy a software company, UIQ Technology, from Symbian, whose operating system is used on many of Sony Ericsson's high-end phones. The value of the deal was not announced, but the acquisition will help Sony Ericsson develop more features "such as push e-mail, Internet browsing, end user personalization, and enhanced music applications" for mobile phone makers globally, said Mats Lindoff, Sony Ericsson's chief technology officer. $@(AFX)
PIETER GEELEN, one of the founders of the Dutch car-navigation company TomTom, donated ?100 million, or $128 million, to the Turing Foundation, a charity organization he started. Geelen last week sold shares worth ?97.5 million, about a sixth of his stake. $@(Bloomberg)