Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Ex-United Air employee gets $55,000 in bias suit

DENVER >> A former United Airlines ramp supervisor who claimed she was fired because of her gender has been awarded $55,000 by a federal jury in civil rights lawsuit.

Mina Lundien lost her job in 1997 for a safety violation involving the shipping of a box of shotgun shells for the U.S. Olympic team. Lundien had contended that a man in her position would not have been fired. A federal jury in Denver agreed after a five-day trial ended Friday.

"We were able to show conclusively that it was not a violation at the time," said her attorney, Jack Olsen.

Lundien, who had worked at United for six years, was one of three women out of a total group of 36 ramp supervisors.

The jury awarded Lundien $27,500 for emotional damages and $27,500 in punitive damages.

Yahoo! says holiday sales increased 86 percent

Sunnyvale, Calif. >> Yahoo! Inc., the money-losing Internet search service, said holiday sales on its shopping site rose 86 percent, helped by last-minute purchases of gift certificates.

Internet sales surged 48 percent to $1.39 billion last week from a year earlier, according to Inc., which tracks transactions at 2,000 online merchants.

Customers spent $10.3 billion in the fourth quarter, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo said in a statement. It didn't give holiday sales figures.

"They got some good volume, more than people expected," said John Corcoran, an analyst at CIBC World Markets, who has a "hold" rating on the stock and doesn't own shares. Yahoo receives a percentage of sales made on its site, which "doesn't mean a staggering amount of those dollars flow into Yahoo's coffers," Corcoran said.

Yahoo Chief Executive Terry Semel is trying to decrease the company's dependence on ads. Internet advertising plunged this year because many Web companies went out of business and others cut marketing expenses as the U.S. economy entered a recession.

Yahoo's 2001 revenue will be about $693 million, down from $1.1 billion a year ago, Corcoran said.

Shares of Yahoo rose 84 cents, or 5 percent, to $17.51 on the Nasdaq. They earlier reached $18.27.

'I-mode' subscriptions top 30 million mark

TOKYO >> The number of subscription contracts for the "i-mode" Internet-capable mobile phone services of NTT DoCoMo Inc. have eclipsed the 30 million mark, the company said yesterday. The total dwarfs the company's initial goal of 10 million contracts in three years from the launch of the i-mode service on Feb. 22, 1999, it said.

It has taken only two years and 10 months for the company to win three times as many subscriptions. The company attributed the blockbuster success partly to the popularity of the new "i-appli" service, an even more sophisticated version of the i-mode service.

In other news . . . Inc., the biggest online home-listing company, must provide more information on its internal accounting inquiry before trading of its stock can resume, the Nasdaq Stock Market said.

Trading has been halted since Friday when Homestore. com said it would restate certain financial results. The company has hired independent counsel and accountants to assist it.'s stock, which is at $3.50, is down 82.3 percent this year.

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