Microsoft will buy the 50. 1 percent stake it doesn't already own in the MSN Israel Internet portal from Israeli communications company...

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Microsoft will buy the 50.1 percent stake it doesn’t already own in the MSN Israel Internet portal from Israeli communications company Internet Gold.

Microsoft will operate the portal “independently” from October, the companies said Sunday, without disclosing the terms of the purchase. MSN Israel accounted for 3 percent of Internet Gold’s revenue last year.

Microsoft, which formed a partnership with Internet Gold in 2000, operates nearly all its 44 country portals without domestic partners.

NBC Universal

Judging ad data Olympic-size task

The exhaustive coverage of the Summer Olympics from Beijing next month — 3,600 hours on television and online — presents NBC Universal with a problem: how to give advertisers a portrait of viewership on seven networks, the Internet (computers and cellphones) and video-on-demand downloads.

NBC’s solution is the total audience measurement index, or TAMI, an amalgam of existing yardsticks from sources like Nielsen Media Research and the lesser-known Omniture and Rentrak.

The Olympics will be on NBC, Telemundo, USA, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo and Oxygen, with streaming video, video-on-demand, and statistical, biographical and other information available at

TAMI will provide standard raw data about viewers, unique online users and time spent on sections of the Web site.

There will be daily data on Internet demographics, consumer preferences for video on computers and mobile devices, and how the Internet complements TV viewing.

“I have no idea how people will use the Internet on the Olympics,” said Alan Wurtzel, president of research for NBC Universal. “It’s never been used to the scale we have now.”


Steel costs increase price of small cars

Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s largest automaker, raised prices for its Elantra and Accent small cars exported to the U.S. to cover the rising cost of steel and other materials.

Hyundai boosted basic prices for the Elantra by $300 and for the Accent by $200 as of July 1, Seoul-based spokesman Jake Jang said today.

The retail price for the Accent is $10,775 and $13,625 for the Elantra, according to Hyundai’s Web site.

Earnings from Hyundai’s 1.3 percent gain in U.S. sales last month are being eroded by the rising cost of raw materials. Posco, South Korea’s biggest steelmaker, has boosted the price of sheet steel 63 percent this year to recover its own raw-material cost increases.


Terms reached on major buyout

Canada’s largest telecommunications company, BCE, said Friday it has agreed on terms of a $35 billion sale to a group led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in the biggest leveraged buyout ever. The deal is expected to be completed by mid-December.

The announcement ends suspense that the banks funding the biggest buyout to date in Canada would try to back out of the deal or that the price would have to be lowered.

The acquisition price remains at $42.75 Canadian dollars per share in cash.

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Toronto-Dominion Bank are scheduled to provide billions in financing to complete the deal. Including assumed debt, the transaction is worth $51 billion.

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