money digest


Apple option request

Some large Apple Inc. shareholders are asking the company to change its stock-option practices after investigations revealed irregularities in previous grants. Amalgamated BankLongView Collective Investment Fund and Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds proposed that options granted to senior Apple executives should have an exercise price equal to an average of the opening and closing prices of the underlying stock on the grant date. They also asked that grant dates be set and disclosed in advance. The request is scheduled to be voted on at Apple's annual meeting May 10. Apple also said Monday that CEO Steve Jobs in 2006 continued with his tradition of taking just $1 in salary.

Yahoo! adds to newspaper ads

Yahoo! Inc. is expanding its relationship with the newspaper industry, announcing the addition Monday of five new publishing companies to a consortium that works with the Internet company to sell advertising online. Yahoo! also is broadening the scope of the venture beyond its initial phase of selling help-wanted ads. It now will integrate its search technology across the sites of the more than 264 newspapers now in the group, which covers 44 states. Shares of Yahoo! which is scheduled to report quarterly earnings today, rose fractionally to $31.61 on Monday.

Challenge for Google-DoubleClick

Google rivals including AT&T Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are expected to urge regulators to closely scrutinize the Web search leader's $3.1 billion deal announced Friday to buy DoubleClick. Competitors said the deal would allow Google to corner the online advertising market and provide them access to a huge amount of information on consumer behavior on the Internet. "This proposed acquisition raises serious competition and privacy concerns," said Brad Smith, Microsoft senior vp and general counsel.