In the Region Alabanza software to partner with IBM on...

BUSINESS DIGEST

January 26, 2002

In the Region

Alabanza software to partner with IBM on Web clients

Alabanza Corp., a Baltimore company that develops software for business Web sites, yesterday announced a partnership with IBM Corp.

IBM will use Alabanza's Linux-based software to help serve small and medium-sized businesses on the Internet. About 40 percent of U.S. small businesses don't have a Web site, Alabanza said.

The 6-year-old company had revenue of $15 million in 2001. It employs 85 people downtown.

IRS warns against filing for slavery reparations

The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers not to be fooled into filing slavery reparations claims, saying there is nothing in the tax law that allows a credit or refund for such claims.

Promoters deceive tax filers by charging fees in exchange for advising them on how to pursue the claims, the IRS said. Last year, the agency received nearly 80,000 returns - about 1,920 from Maryland and Washington - seeking false reparation refunds.

To combat the growing number of cases, the IRS is contacting African-American churches and community groups to warn them of the scheme. Taxpayers can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

Elsewhere

EU willing to give U.S. time to comply with WTO ruling

The European Union is willing to give the United States time to comply with a ruling that could impose $4 billion in sanctions on American exports to Europe, the EU's top trade official said yesterday.

EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick sought to lower tensions over the issue of export subsidies to thousands of American companies, which a WTO appeals panel ruled this month violates WTO rules on trade subsidies.

No. 1 Compaq shareholder expected to back takeover

Compaq Computer Corp.'s largest shareholder, Putnam Investments Management Inc., is expected to support the computer company's takeover by Hewlett-Packard Co.

Michael D. Capellas, Compaq's chief executive, also said European antitrust regulators may soon approve the purchase, which may completed as early as March. Putnam held 81.5 million shares of Compaq in September and 33.7 million shares of Hewlett-Packard.

This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Reuters and The New York Times.

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