US rejects telecom treaty citing internet impasse
Talks on a proposed treaty governing international telecommunications collapsed in acrimony on Thursday when the US rejected the agreement on the eve of its scheduled signing, citing an inability to resolve an impasse over the internet. “It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that the US must communicate that it is unable to sign the agreement in its current form,” Terry Kramer, head of the American delegation, announced moments after a final draft appeared to have been approved by a majority of nations. The US announcement was seconded by Canada and several European countries after nearly two weeks of talks that had often pitted Western governments against Russia, China and developing countries.
EU car sales at 19-yr low as recession hits sector
European Union car sales fell to a 19-year low, with French companies PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault and Italian competitor Fiat SpA posting the biggest drops, as a recession in countries using the euro hurt demand. Eleven-month registrations in the 27-nation EU fell 7.6% to 11.3 million vehicles, the lowest figure for the period since 1993, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said on Friday. The decline was propelled by a 10% plunge in November.
Alcatel wins $2.1-bn loans from Goldman, C Suisse
Alcatel-Lucent reached a 1.6-billion-euro ($2.1 billion) financing deal, gaining time to overhaul the French phone-equipment maker and try to sell as much as 1.5 billion euros of assets. The senior secured credit facilities underwritten by Credit Suisse Group and Goldman Sachs will be denominated in US dollars and euros, with maturities of 3 1/2 to six years, the Paris-based company said. The stock gained as much as 15% and the company’s 8.5% bonds jumped to the highest since in almost eight months.
Encana, PetroChina take $2.2-billion stab at JV
PetroChina will pay Encana Corp C$2.2 billion ($2.2 billion) for a 49.9% stake in a rich Alberta shale gas prospect, the first test of new guidelines issued by Ottawa for major energy investments by foreign state-owned enterprises. Encana said the venture, with a non-controlling interest for PetroChina, allows the partners to bypass