Microsoft, DreamWorks in ventureThe software giant...

BUSINESS DIGEST

March 23, 1995

Microsoft, DreamWorks in venture

The software giant Microsoft and DreamWorks, the new studio founded by movie director Steven Spielberg, movie producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and music producer David Geffen, said yesterday that they were joining forces to create interactive products and other forms of entertainment. DreamWorks SKG and Microsoft each will contribute 50 percent of the funding to create the venture, called DreamWorks Interactive. Microsoft will become a minority investor in DreamWorks.

Sylvan sells training software

Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. said yesterday that its Sylvan SMARTS, a training center information software system, was BTC sold to Virtual University Enterprises Inc. of Bloomington, Minn. Columbia-based Sylvan, which operates more than 500 educational and testing centers, did not disclose the terms of the sale. The company's stock closed yesterday up 25 cents at $17.75 a share.

5 at American Federal penalized

The federal thrifts regulator yesterday ordered five former directors of American Federal Savings Bank of Rockville and the thrift's law firm to pay $1.5 million in restitution. The Office of Thrift Supervision charged that the former directors put their interests ahead of American Federal's and ordered them to pay a total of $730,000, and Bethesda law firm Paley, Rothman, Goldstein, Rosenberg & Cooper agreed to pay $800,000.

BGE buys Oracle software

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. has bought $1 million in computer software from Oracle Corp. of Redwood Shores, Calif., to upgrade the utility's cost management system. The software was recommended by Price Waterhouse, a national accounting firm, because of its flexibility, according to an Oracle press release.

Newspapers' ad revenue up 7.25%

U.S. newspapers recorded their highest advertising revenue in eight years in 1994, at nearly $34.2 billion, the Newspaper Association of America reported yesterday. The figure was up 7.25 percent from the previous year. The association said advertising expenditures totaled $10 billion in the last quarter of the year, an 8.1 percent increase over the same quarter of 1993.

Pepsi tries new mid-calorie cola

PepsiCo Inc. formally announced yesterday the testing of a new mid-calorie cola aimed at drinkers of regular colas. PepsiCo said stores and vending machines in five Florida cities will start selling "Pepsi XL" April 1. Pepsi has tried, and failed, with mid-calorie colas before. Pepsi Light, for example, had the same 70-calorie dose as Pepsi XL, compared with 150 calories in regular colas.

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