Pacific Northwest Boeing finally has lined up a second order for the passenger version of its new 747-8 jumbo jet, though not yet a firm...

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Microsoft has proposed slicing up Yahoo in a deal unlikely to win over Yahoo, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Under the proposed breakup, Microsoft would buy Yahoo’s search division and Yahoo would sell its Internet operations abroad, The Journal said, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. Microsoft would then buy a minority stake in what was left of Yahoo.

The New York Times reported Yahoo would spin off its Asian assets, which include a stake in the Alibaba Group, a Chinese Internet company.

Under a shareholder agreement, Alibaba would have first rights to buy back Yahoo’s stake.

Since Microsoft first bid for Yahoo, Alibaba has been lining up investors in the event this opportunity arose, The Times said.


Finally, new order for passenger 747-8

Boeing finally has lined up a second order for the passenger version of its new 747-8 jumbo jet, though not yet a firm order. At a ceremony to take delivery Monday of two new 737s, Arik Air of Nigeria signed a letter of understanding with Boeing for seven more 737s and three of the 747-8s.

In December 2006, German flag carrier Lufthansa placed the first order for the passenger version of the new 747. Since then, while Boeing has steadily sold the freighter version, it has struggled to add more sales of the passenger version.

Arik is a startup airline that has plans to expand service to London and the U.S. With this order, its fleet plan now includes 17 737s, five 777s, seven 787s and three 747-8s. Arik is the first African carrier to announce plans to operate all of these Boeing models.

New center set for Pennsylvania

Seattle-based will open a new order-fulfillment center in Hazleton, Pa., its fifth in the state and one of dozens worldwide.

The center will be more than 600,000 square feet and allow Amazon to serve its customers in the Northeast more efficiently, the Internet retailer said in a statement.

Due to open in July, it’s expected to create more than 1,100 jobs in the next three years, though the company also plans to hire up to 800 temporary employees during peak seasons.


Video-delivery firm snags Comcast cash

Comcast, which is under federal investigation for blocking some file-sharing traffic, is investing in a startup that delivers high-definition video using file-sharing techniques.

Seattle-based GridNetworks on Monday said Comcast would make an unspecified investment in the company and collaborate on developing peer-to-peer file-sharing techniques “friendly” to Internet service providers.

Comcast, the country’s second-largest Internet service provider, hampers some file-sharing traffic by its subscribers to keep the traffic from slowing down Web surfing by other subscribers.

Complaints by consumer groups and legal scholars that the company is discriminating against particular software have led to a Federal Communications Commission investigation.

Comcast has said that it will stop targeting specific types of traffic by the end of the year.

It has also reached out to file-sharing companies to try to develop mutually acceptable techniques.

In October, GridNetworks raised $9.5 million in capital, with Cisco Systems as one of the investors.

The Comcast deal was announced at the Cable Show in New Orleans, hosted by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association.


Europe sales rights granted to Olympus

Spiration said Monday it granted Japanese firm Olympus Medical Systems exclusive rights to sell its only commercial product in 43 European countries.

Redmond-based Spiration developed the product, known as the IBV Valve System, to lessen the suffering of emphysema patients. Olympus will launch the product later this year.

The companies declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal. Spiration will manufacture the product, which will be initially marketed under its name, a statement said.

Endorsement sends stock higher stock rose 7.6 percent Monday after Goldman Sachs Group recommended buying the stock and said the company may increase sales at least 20 percent annually over the next five to 10 years.

Goldman raised its price estimate on the shares by 31 percent to $98, according to a note to investors published Sunday.

Amazon stock rose $5.83, or 7.6 percent, to $82.29 Monday.

Amazon shares have fallen 11 percent this year, compared with a 2.8 percent drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, because of “slight” declines in gross margin, or the percentage of sales left after subtracting the cost of goods sold.

This “period of poor performance renders Amazon stock attractive,” Goldman analyst James Mitchell wrote in the report.

Calypso Medical

FDA approves way to track tumors

Calypso Medical said Monday the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the Seattle company’s method to track prostate tumors in prostatectomy patients.

The method consists of implanting very small transponders in the prostate, which allow radiologists to closely follow tumors’ movements during radiotherapy.

That improves the accuracy of radiation in treating tumors.

The method, known as the Calypso System, had been previously cleared for use in patients with an intact prostate.

American Axle

Voting begins on new contract

Striking workers at American Axle began voting Monday on a new contract with the auto-parts maker that would cut their pay by about one-third.

United Auto Workers at the Three Rivers plant in Michigan approved the agreement.

But the vote that could end the bitter 83-day strike won’t wrap up until Thursday evening when Local 235 in Hamtramck, the largest local at the company, finishes its balloting.

About 3,600 workers at five plants in Michigan and New York walked off their jobs Feb. 26 in the wage-and-benefit dispute that has featured name-calling and threats by the company to move work to other countries.

Supreme Court

State tax breaks upheld for munis

The $2.5 trillion municipal-bond market skirted a land mine Monday when the Supreme Court ruled states could continue to give special tax breaks on the bonds that finance hospitals, roads, schools and other services.

The justices ruled 7-2 in a case from Kentucky that states can exempt interest on their own bonds from taxation while taxing residents for interest on bonds issued by other states.

In the municipal-bond market, 41 states have systems similar to Kentucky’s.

Seven states do not impose taxes on personal income.

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