Business in brief

15 companies in Mass. recognized for adding jobs

November 25, 2008
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The Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development, a nonprofit charged with helping to bring companies to the state, plans today to recognize 15 Massachusetts companies that have recently added jobs, including Evergreen Solar Inc., Shire Pharmaceuticals PLC, Aspect Software Inc., Electrochem Inc., and Solutia Inc. Nine of the 15 companies are manufacturers. Over the past year, the number of manufacturing jobs in the state has declined by 4,400, or 1.5 percent, according to a report last week by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. (Todd Wallack)

10 businesses will receive state and local tax breaks
The state Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approved state and local tax incentives for 10 companies that have pledged to add jobs in the state. Among them are Covidien Ltd., a biotech which plans to invest $47 million in a new building for its Mansfield campus, adding 50 jobs. Plymouth Rock Studios wants to create at least 94 jobs as part of its plan to open a film and TV studio in Plymouth. Manufacturer Magnemotion Inc. is building a headquarters in Devens and hopes to add 100 jobs. Health products giant EMD Serono has pledged to invest $78 million and add 30 jobs for its expansion in Billerica. The companies will be eligible for a 5 percent state tax credit for money spent on the projects. In addition, the companies will also receive discounts on local property taxes for up to 20 years. (Todd Wallack)

Genzyme seeks clearance to give adults cancer drug
Biotechnology company Genzyme Corp. said it asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve its leukemia drug Clolar for adults. The drug is already approved for a form of the disease called acute lymphoblastic leukemia in patients 1 to 21 years old who have had at least two prior treatments. Genzyme asked the FDA to give priority review to the drug as an initial treatment for adults with acute myeloid leukemia. If granted, the FDA would review the drug application within six months, meaning it could have a decision in the first half of 2009. (AP)

Treasury extends backing for market mutual funds
The government is extending a program to bolster the money market mutual fund industry. The Treasury Department said the program, which provides guarantees for the investment products, will now run until April 30. The temporary program had been slated to expire Dec. 18. The department said it is taking the action "to support ongoing stability in this market." Treasury said last week it did not anticipate taking similar action for any other mutual funds. (AP)

Facebook wins $873.3m award in spam lawsuit
Facebook Inc., the world's largest social networking website, won an order requiring the owner of a Canadian site to pay $873.3 million for illegally using Facebook users log-in information to send spam. US District Judge Jeremy Fogel in San Jose, Calif., on Friday issued the order against Adam Guerbuez, of Montreal, the owner of Atlantis Blue Capital and the website, according to court documents. Fogel awarded Facebook damages of $436.6 million for the spam and doubled the award against Guerbuez for aggravated violations of the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act by illegally accessing Facebook data, Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt said. (Bloomberg)

McCartney: Beatles-iTunes deal negotiations stalled
Paul McCartney said negotiations on a long-awaited deal to make the Beatles' catalog available on the online music service iTunes have stalled. The band's holding company, Apple Corps Ltd., has so far declined to allow the Fab Four's music on any Internet music service, including iTunes. Record label EMI, which owns the Beatles recordings but needs Apple Corps' permission to release the music in new formats, said it was still trying to resolve the matter. (AP)

Nissan won't promote cars at Detroit, Chicago shows
Nissan Motor Co., Japan's third-largest automaker, said it won't display its latest car and truck models at the Detroit or Chicago auto shows as the company works to conserve funds amid sagging industrywide demand. Nissan last week unveiled three models at the Los Angeles Auto Show and had no major model line additions that would be ready for the Detroit show in January, Alan Buddendeck, Nissan's vice president of corporate communications for North America, said. Nissan becomes the seventh automaker to pull out of Detroit, the main US showcase for new models. (Bloomberg)

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