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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, March 20, 2000

America Online links with PurchasePro

DULLES, Va. -- Internet services provider America Online Inc. and business-to-business e-commerce provider Inc. said today that they were in a three-year deal.

AOL and will create a business-to-business marketplace by combining their existing technologies with new ones they will jointly develop. The e-commerce marketplace will let businesses buy and sell their products, as well as negotiate on the price. The co-branded AOL/ business marketplace is expected to roll out by the end of the second quarter and will be developed for the more than 23.5 million AOL and CompuServe users, as well as on and Netscape Netcenter.

Yahoo! seeks hike in number of shares

WASHINGTON -- Yahoo Inc.'s annual meeting of shareholders on May 12 will include a vote on a proposal to increase the number of authorized common shares to 5 billion from 900 million, according to a preliminary proxy statement filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The proposal would give the board permission to issue shares for acquisitions, stock splits or stock dividends, or to raise more capital. In addition, the increase in shares could be used to prevent or delay takeover of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company.

Boeing workers OK strike-ending pact

SEATTLE -- Striking Boeing Co. engineers and technical workers have approved a new contract, ending one of the biggest white-collar walkouts in the country's history.

Members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace returned to work this morning following their 40-day strike.

Some 9,660 of 13,440 eligible, dues-paying union members cast ballots, spokesman Bill Dugovich said yesterday.

Both the technical and engineering sides approved the contract by more than 70 percent, union executive director Charles Bofferding said.

Of Mutual Concern

News for mutual fund investors


Funds may be required to disclose tax impact

WASHINGTON -- Fidelity Investments, Vanguard Group and other mutual fund companies would have to disclose their after-tax performance to investors under a rule proposal issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission. "Two funds with identical before-tax returns can have significantly different after-tax returns," SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt said. "Investors are entitled to be told that difference."

The proposal, which gives the public until June 30 to submit comment letters, would require funds to disclose these returns in their prospectuses and annual reports, though not in advertisements. Funds would have to display one-, five- and 10-year after-tax returns in a standardized table designed to let investors compare the returns of different funds.

Most fund returns aren't adjusted now to take into account investor income and capital gains taxes, which can be the single biggest cost associated with mutual funds for investors. Investor taxes can vary with the fund's portfolio trading rate, trading gains, and use of losses to offset realized gains. Investors in stock funds lost an average of about 16 percent, or 2.6 percentage points, from their annual returns to taxes between 1988 and 1997, a KPMG International study found. The 500 stock funds studied during this period had average pretax returns of about 16.1 percent, with after-tax returns of about 13.5 percent.

Magellan increases tech-stock holdings

BOSTON -- Fidelity Investments' flagship Magellan Fund boosted its holdings of technology stocks in January to 1.3 percent more than the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Manager Robert Stansky increased the $100.8 billion fund's technology stake to 30.5 percent as of Jan. 31 from 27.1 percent as of Dec. 31.

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