Pacific Northwest's Web site experienced problems in North America for more than two hours in the middle of the day Friday because...

Share story’s Web site experienced problems in North America for more than two hours in the middle of the day Friday because of system issues, the online retailer said.

Shortly after 10 a.m. Seattle time, the company’s retail Web site shut down, giving an error code to anyone visiting it, according to Keynote Systems, a California company that measures Web site performance. By 1 p.m., the site was back to full capacity, Keynote said.


Starbucks is sued on wireless access

T-Mobile USA sued Starbucks saying the coffee chain breached a contract by allowing AT&T to supply in-store customers with free wireless-fidelity Internet access using T-Mobile’s lines and equipment.

T-Mobile, which said it agreed to provide Wi-Fi service at Starbucks in 2002, accused the largest U.S. coffee chain of “secretly” developing a plan to let AT&T to provide free Internet service at more than 7,000 U.S. Starbucks stores.

Starbucks’s deal with AT&T violates a transition agreement that gave T-Mobile exclusive rights to market and sell Wi-Fi Internet access at Starbucks stores until Jan. 4, 2009, T-Mobile said in the lawsuit, filed Thursday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.


Jury lowers award in hot-coffee suit

Starbucks won a reduction in a New York jury’s award to a lawyer who said she suffered second-degree burns and permanent nerve damage from hot coffee spilled on her by a barista.

Alice Griffin was awarded $50,000 for past pain and suffering, $250,000 for future pain and suffering and $1,000 for medical bills.

A panel of appeals court judges in Manhattan on Thursday reduced Griffin’s award to $75,000.

Pacific Ethanol

Gates’ investment fund lowers stake

Cascade Investment, the private investment fund of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, reduced its stake in Pacific Ethanol, the largest ethanol producer on the West Coast.

Cascade sold 2.7 million shares from May 28 to June 4, according to a securities filing. Gates has shed about 4.6 million shares in the ethanol maker since April 21. He paid $84 million for 5.25 million preferred shares in 2005 and still owns 11.8 percent of the company.

Compiled from The Associated Press and Bloomberg News