In other items: Security concerns over IBM's Lenovo deal; cost of crude up, adds 5 cents to pump price; Yahoo! "Ticker" software scrolls continuously; and Nortel Networks to work with South Korean firm.

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Public review of Microsoft’s expansion plans begins this week with an open house the company is hosting Thursday.




Microsoft seeks city permission to redevelop its Redmond campus and build 2.8 million square feet of offices over the next 10 to 20 years. Some buildings would be demolished, and the net gain would be 2.2 million square feet plus parking garages. Altogether that could accommodate another 10,000 to 12,000 employees.


Technically the company is requesting a development agreement that would serve as a blueprint for its growth and streamline the building-permit process. It has offered to contribute $30 million to road improvements in the area, a figure that may be negotiated with the City Council when it considers the request next month.



The open house will be from 7 to 9 p.m. in Microsoft Building 122, the former Spacelabs facility at 15120 N.E. 40th St., just west of Highway 520.


IBM





Security concerns over Lenovo deal

U.S. regulators are raising national-security concerns over International Business Machines’s pending $1.25 billion sale of its personal-computer business to China’s Lenovo Group, people familiar with the matter said.


Members of the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, including the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security, worry Chinese operatives might use an IBM facility in North Carolina to engage in industrial espionage, using stolen technologies for military purposes, said the people.



IBM and Beijing-based Lenovo need the approval of the committee, which is chaired by the Treasury Department and includes 11 other federal agencies, to avoid a formal investigation and the need for clearance by President Bush. IBM and the government are negotiating the matter, which otherwise could scuttle the deal, the people said.


Gasoline





Cost of crude up, adds 5 cents to pump price

CAMARILLO, Calif. — Gas prices at the pump rose for the first time in nearly three months, primarily from higher crude-oil prices, an industry analyst said yesterday.


Between Jan. 7 and Friday, the combined average price for all grades of gasoline rose more than 5 cents a gallon, to $1.87 compared with the prior two weeks, said Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations across the country.



The average price for self-serve regular was $1.85 a gallon.


The market may continue to rise if the members of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decide to cut production again during their meeting next Sunday, Lundberg said.



Yahoo!




“Ticker” software scrolls continuously

Yahoo! has launched software that continuously scrolls information across the screen of the PC. Along with Toolbar devices offered by Google and MSN, Yahoo! has introduced an updated beta version of a new My Yahoo Ticker for Windows.




Nortel Networks




Telecom giant to work with South Korean firm

Nortel Networks, North America’s largest phone-equipment maker, will form a venture to make equipment with South Korea’s LG Electronics.




Nortel will hold a 50 percent stake in the venture, plus one share; LG will hold the remaining stock, LG said today. No money details were released.


The deal helps Nortel expand into a region where telecom spending has grown more than double the pace of North America and Western Europe since 2000.



Compiled from Seattle Times business news staff, Bloomberg News, The Associated Press and Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services