Amazon.com is holding talks with record-label executives as it explores offering a digital-music service, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site yesterday.

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Amazon.com is holding talks with record-label executives as it explores offering a digital-music service, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site yesterday.



The newspaper quoted unnamed people familiar with the talks as saying the Seattle retailer is looking at offering song-by-song downloads and a monthly subscription service.



Entering the digital-music business would put Amazon into competition with Apple Computer’s iTunes and services from Napster and Seattle-based RealNetworks.



An Amazon spokeswoman declined comment to The Journal on company plans.


Boeing



Prices going up



4 percent for jets



Boeing announced yesterday it is bumping up the list prices on its airplanes an average of about 4 percent.



A top-of-the-line 747 jumbo jet is now listed at $236 million, including engines and special options. Boeing’s most expensive jet, the 777-300ER, tops out at $253 million.



The Renton-built narrow-body jets are priced between $63 million and $77 million for the longer models.



The price of a 787, previously $120 million, is now $130 million on average.



Customers typically get large discounts for volume orders. The actual sale price, estimated at a quarter or a third below the list price, is never publicly revealed.



Loudeye



Shares climb 25%



on heavy trading



The share price of Loudeye, a Seattle digital music company, climbed 20 cents, or 24.7 percent, to $1.01 yesterday. Trading volume was nearly five times the average.



Loudeye made no announcements yesterday.



It recently received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market that gave it until Jan. 3 to get its share price back above $1 for 10 consecutive days.


ZymoGenetics



Stock offering



raises $135 million



ZymoGenetics said yesterday it has priced its secondary stock offering at $18 a share. The company sold 7.5 million shares and raised $135 million, before expenses, for its drug research and development programs.



The Seattle biotech company already had $275 million in cash and other investments as of June 30.



ZymoGenetics granted its underwriters the option to buy 1.1 million more shares. Merrill Lynch led the offering, with Pacific Growth Equities, Bear Stearns and Piper Jaffray serving as co-managers.



The offering was larger than the company’s initial public offering in January 2002, which raised $120 million.



Compiled from Seattle Times staff



Nation/World



Pacific Northwest


Microsoft



Ad product’s testing



begins in October



Microsoft’s MSN division said yesterday it would begin testing the first product in its new advertising technology platform in the U.S. in October.



The product, called MSN Keywords, sells ads based on words that consumers enter into its MSN search engine. Right now, MSN uses technology from Yahoo! for handling many of those ads. The technology has been tested in France and Singapore, and will move to full launch there next month.



Amazon.com



Lawsuit claims



illegal “phishing”



Seattle-based Amazon.com filed a lawsuit this week in federal court accusing 20 unidentified defendants of stealing personal information from its customers through a practice called “phishing.”



The lawsuit said the unidentified defendants sent an e-mail with the subject “Your item on Amazon.” The e-mail asks whether the item is still for sale and includes a hyperlink to the supposed item. A user that clicked on the link would be taken to a fake Amazon Web site that asked them to provide their e-mail address and Amazon password.


Scout Media



Online sports firm



joins News Corp.



News Corp.’s newly formed Fox Interactive Media purchased privately owned online sports company Scout Media, the company said yesterday. Financial terms were not disclosed.



Seattle-based Scout’s network of sports Web sites consists of 200 local, team-focused sites and 47 publications that cover professional, college and high-school team sports.



Nation / World


HealthSouth



Court urged to try



Scrushy’s civil suit



HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy should face civil-fraud charges for his role in “one of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history,” the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in urging a judge to let the case proceed.



The SEC’s filing yesterday in federal court in Birmingham, Ala., called Scrushy “desperate” for asking last month that the lawsuit be dismissed because of the agency’s collaboration with the Department of Justice (DOJ). Any guidance given to the SEC was within acceptable rules, the agency said.



Scrushy is accused by the SEC of lying to investors and signing false financial reports. The lawsuit is one of several stemming from fraud that happened under Scrushy’s watch from 1996 to 2002 at HealthSouth, the largest U.S. operator of rehabilitation-medicine services. Scrushy, who is fighting to regain control of the company he started in 1984, was acquitted on June 28 of criminal charges.



Arthur Leach, Scrushy’s lawyer, said he hadn’t yet read the SEC filing and couldn’t comment.



Exxon Mobil



CEO Raymond



to retire this year



Exxon Mobil said yesterday that Lee Raymond, its chairman and chief executive for the past 12 years, will retire at the end of this year.



The board of directors of the world’s largest publicly traded oil company is expected to name company President Rex Tillerson, 53, as Raymond’s successor in both posts.



Compiled from Seattle Times staff, Reuters, Bloomberg News and The Associated Press