BIZ BRIEFS

Ruling on Microsoft

SEATTLE:

A state judge, ruling in a case that exposed the behind-the-scenes animosity between two high-tech titans, said a former Microsoft Corp executive may begin working at Google Inc in China in a limited capacity. King County Superior Court Judge said a noncompete pact Kai-Fu Lee signed with MS is valid, but recruiting and staffing a Google center in China would not violate it. —AP

DC to roll in China

BEIJING:

DaimlerChrysler (DC) AG had received approval from the Chinese government to start offering auto financing, and would launch services. A new operation to be called DaimlerChrysler Auto Finance (China) Ltd will offer financing to dealers and customers, insurance for passenger cars and financial services. — AP

Boosting gas supply

TURKMENISTAN:

President Saparmurat Niyazov inaugurated a compressor station at Turkmenistan’s major Kopetje natural gas field to boost gas supplies to neighbouring Iran. The $140 million station has a capacity to process three billion cubic metres of gas annually. — AP