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Byline: - Staff and Wire Services

'Hard Day's Night' roalty suit filed

A man who claims he's being cheated out of royalties from the distribution of the 1964 Beatles film ``A Hard Day's Night'' is seeking $850,000 in damages from Miramax.

Bruce Karsh filed the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit Friday.

He claims Miramax Film Corp., whose representative was not immediately available to comment on the allegations, refuses to pay him all sums owed under the agreement.

Evidence portion in Ovitz case ends

GEORGETOWN, Del. - The evidence phase of a long-running trial over Walt Disney Co.'s 1996 firing of Michael Ovitz from the job of president ended Wednesday.

Yale Law professor John Donohue, in his third trip to the witness stand, said Disney could have fired Ovitz for cause without paying him a $140 million severance package and without risking even larger damages for fraud and defamation.

Trial of the case began in October, and no decision is expected until after lawyers have exchanged briefs presenting their views of what the evidence showed.

Apartment rents in L.A. rise 4.7%

Apartment rents in Los Angeles and Orange counties climbed 4.7 percent in 2004 to end the year at $1,369 - making the region the West's highest priced rental market, according to a survey to be released today.

Southern California surpassed the San Francisco Bay Area as the West's most expensive rental market during the past year, reflecting the divergent fortunes of the state's biggest job centers, according to RealFacts, a Novato, Calif.-based real estate research firm.

Video game sales see record in '04

NEW YORK - The video game industry enjoyed record sales in 2004, despite a shortage of game consoles over the holiday season.

The data from NPD Funworld, a market research firm, showed that U.S. sales of video game consoles, portable devices and the games made for those platforms were $9.9 billion in 2004. That figure is slightly below the overall sales figure of $10 billion in 2003. However, the 2004 figure does not yet include sales of games for personal computers. When those sales are included in a report due in the next few days, overall sales for the year will be a record, NPD said.

GM's 4Q profits skid 37 percent

DETROIT - Rising health care costs and lingering struggles in its European operations helped drive down General Motors Corp.'s profit by 37 percent in the fourth quarter, and the world's biggest automaker said it expects a rough start this year.

GM officials said Wednesday the company expects break-even or better results in the current quarter, reflecting lower vehicle production and sales of less profitable cars and trucks. They expect U.S. vehicle sales to be down slightly in 2005 from robust volume last year.

EBay sees bright outlook for 2005

SAN JOSE - Strong holiday sales caused eBay Inc.'s profit to surge 44 percent from the same period last year, and optimistic executives raised their outlook for the rest of 2005. But the online auction giant failed to meet Wall Street's expectations by a penny per share and its shares fell.

Ebay, one of the world's largest e-commerce companies, announced fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday of $205.4 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with $142.5 million, or 21 cents per share in the same period of 2003.

Pfizer's quarter profit quadruples

NEW YORK - Pfizer Inc., the world's largest drug company, said Wednesday that its net income for the fourth quarter more than quadrupled, driven by strong sales of cholesterol drug Lipitor and comparison with results depressed by bigger charges a year ago.

Its earnings excluding certain items missed analysts' forecasts, however, and its shares slipped.

Pfizer also said that revenue and income will likely be tempered due to patent expirations and other factors. Pfizer will provide guidance for 2005 and beyond in April.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 20, 2005

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