Business Brief for December 12, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
These are short blurbs about current events in the business world.
Paramount Pictures buys DreamWorks SKG 
Paramount Pictures has agreed to buy DreamWorks SKG for $826 million in cash and $774 million in assumption of debt. Paramount intends to sell off the Dreamworks' 59 title library which includes Gladiator, American Beauty, and Saving Private Ryan. The library is expected to bring in $850 million to $1 billion making the Dreamworks net purchase price about $500 to $650 million.
DreamWorks was established 11 years ago by Steven Spielberg, David Geffin, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Spielberg will remain producer-director and Geffen will remain the company's chairman.
Paramount will not receive Dreamworks' animation studios, which is responsible for the hit Shrek, but it will own the distribution rights of previously made Dreamworks films. Paramount will however receive Dreamworks' television division.
NBC Universal, owned by GE, had offered $900 million.
- "Paramount buys rival Dreamworks" — , December 12, 2005
- Gina Keating. "Paramount to buy DreamWorks" — , December 11, 2005
WTO battles on 
The agricultural fighting continues in the WTO. EU's trade chief Peter Mandelson wants his six-point plan tabled. The plan includes a deal to end cotton subsidies. "We have asked [WTO Director-General] Pascal Lamy to consider making the development package that we have been promoting as the first subject in the discussions. I think it would earth these negotiations in the real world, would give them a human face." Mandelson said.
This agitated several countries, notably the US, Brazil, and several Latin American countries. "The US and EU are receiving billions of subsidies and at the end of the day these countries produce far more than they should and our market is flooded with subsidised cotton." said Samuel Amehou, Benin's WTO ambassador.
Brazil insists that the EU make a better offer. The country's finance minister said "Unless the European Union is able to improve substantially its offer on agricultural goods, there will not be a successful round."
Mandelson countered with "Another offer on agriculture would simply be pocketed without listing the levels of ambition overall," he said. "It is for others to come up with better proposals in key areas of industrial tariffs and services."
Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce, John Tsang, said he wants to build a platform in Hong Kong for the Doha Round to push for a final drive towards reaching a conclusion in 2006. Tsang said that ministers must give a clear direction on how to move forward after the conference.
- Teddy Ng. "Farm subsidies hold key to WTO trade talks" — , December 12, 2005
- Philip Thornton. "Mandelson puts US on the spot over cotton" — , December 13, 2005