Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer will meet with the European Union's antitrust chief next week, her spokesman said yesterday, as the company appeals a March 2004 ruling by EU regulators.

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Microsoft

Ballmer to meet with EU regulators


Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer will meet with the European Union’s antitrust chief next week, her spokesman said yesterday, as the company appeals a March 2004 ruling by EU regulators.


Neelie Kroes plans to meet Ballmer over breakfast Wednesday to discuss general antitrust issues, EU spokesman Jonathan Todd said. Earlier this month, Kroes said her department had received new informal complaints about Microsoft, perhaps leading to the opening of a new case.


Microsoft said the meeting had no specific agenda.

Dwango Wireless

Mobile company to cut employees


Mobile entertainment company Dwango Wireless announced yesterday that it is cutting 30 percent of its staff, or about two dozen employees, in a move to “enhance financial performance.”


The company said the cuts would save about $1.5 million a year after one-time severance costs of $34,000.


Dwango, which creates ringtones, graphics and other content for mobile phones, said it would “sharpen its focus on high potential products and services.”


In its most recent quarter ended June 30, Dwango’s losses increased to $5.56 million, or 64 cents a share, compared with a loss of $2 million, or 29 cents a share, in the same period last year.

Labor

Minimum wage in state to increase


Beginning Jan. 1, employers in the state must pay workers at least $7.63 an hour, a 3.8 percent increase in the current minimum wage of $7.35 an hour. The passage of Initiative 688 in 1998 requires the state to adjust the minimum wage each year for inflation.


The federal minimum wage is $5.15 an hour. In states that set their own minimum wage, the higher number prevails. Information about the state’s minimum wages can be found at wages.lni.wa.gov.


Qwest

Union members approve contract


Officials of the Communications Workers of America said yesterday that the union’s members have ratified a three-year contract with Qwest that solidifies a deal that had averted a strike of nearly 25,000 workers in Washington, Oregon and 11 other states.


Terms of the tentative deal reached between Qwest and the union in August remain the same in the ratified contract, including the first pay raise in two years.


Coldstream Capital

Firm acquires Portland company


Coldstream Capital Management, a Bellevue-based investment firm catering to wealthy individuals, said yesterday it had acquired Western Pacific Investment Advisers of Portland. Terms were not disclosed.


The combined firm will have 30 employees and close to $900 million in assets under management.


Compiled from The Associated Press and Seattle Times business staff