The World Trade Organization in Geneva set up panels yesterday to investigate allegedly illegal subsidies paid by the EU and U.S. to airplane makers Airbus and Boeing, although both sides say they are still willing to try to reach a negotiated settlement.

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The World Trade Organization in Geneva set up panels yesterday to investigate allegedly illegal subsidies paid by the EU and U.S. to airplane makers Airbus and Boeing, although both sides say they are still willing to try to reach a negotiated settlement.




The creation of the panels restarts what could become the costliest and highest-profile case in the 10-year history of the WTO.




The WTO’s dispute settlement body agreed to set up the panels after the United States and European Union both went forward with a second request, a month after each side blocked one another in routine bureaucratic maneuvering.



Microsoft



E-mail security




focus of purchase




Microsoft said yesterday that it plans to acquire privately held FrontBridge Technologies, a provider of secure e-mail and messaging services. Terms of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed.




Microsoft said acquiring Marina del Rey, Calif.-based FrontBridge will allow the company to offer a corporate e-mail service that minimizes spam and viruses, and archives messages so they’re available in case of a disaster.




CityBank




Retrieval service




sold for $35 million




CityBank of Lynwood said it has agreed to sell Diligenz, a Mukilteo-based online document retrieval service, to Corporation Service of Wilmington, Del.




CityBank expects to realize net proceeds of about $35 million, after buying out minority shareholders and option holders in Diligenz, and will report an after-tax gain of about $28 million.




Nation / World



Enron Broadband trial



Deadlocked jury




may lead to retrial




A federal court jury yesterday acquitted three former Enron Broadband executives of some charges but deadlocked on the remaining charges involving them and two other executives.




The five were on trial for their alleged roles in making the failed broadband venture appear strong to investors to boost the company’s stock price.




U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore issued an order barring jurors from discussing the case, which she said would have to be retried.




Former broadband CEO Joseph Hirko was acquitted on insider trading and money laundering counts, and former strategist Scott Yeager was acquitted of conspiracy and security and wire fraud counts. Software engineer Rex Shelby was acquitted of insider trading.




Compiled from Seattle Times staff and The Associated Press