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BUSINESS BRIEFLY

In reversal, Yahoo will keep data on users for 18 months

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Yahoo plans to extend the amount of time it retains records on what its users search for online, less than two and a half years after breaking from the other big Internet search engines and promising to delete such data promptly.

The new policy brings the company in line with Google Inc., which dominates the industry, and Microsoft Corp., which powers Yahoo's search results under a partnership reached last year.

Beginning this summer, after notifying customers, Yahoo will join Google and Microsoft in keeping search logs for 18 months.

Yahoo said it will consider keeping other types of information about its users for longer durations, too.

The company's announcement comes amid mounting unease about the vast amounts of personal information that companies are scooping up online -- including Internet search records, Web surfing habits, page views and ad clicks. That information is used to personalize Web content and target online advertising.

But privacy watchdogs fear that as companies store this information, they are compiling vast databases that could become easy targets for government surveillance, identity theft and online scams -- as well as marketing.

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A new way to sell tickets

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Event ticket seller Ticketmaster said Monday that it is introducing new technology to let artists and sports teams raise or lower ticket prices to reflect demand during the initial sales period -- a move it said will crimp the profits of scalpers and boost revenue for performers and teams.

The technology could push up initial prices for front-row seats while reducing prices on less-desirable ones that might have gone unsold otherwise.

Ticketmaster, a division of Live Nation Entertainment Inc., says the change should make it harder for anyone to send prices soaring by buying up all the best tickets and reselling them at substantial profit.

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Publishing drags Gannett

A prolonged slide in Gannett Co.'s newspaper business overshadowed improvements in the company's broadcast and online operations as the publisher of USA Today reported a sharp drop in first-quarter earnings.

Gannett earned $90.5 million, or 37 cents per share, in the three months ended March 27. Net income was $117 million, or 49 cents per share, a year earlier.

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HSBC cuts 65 local jobs

HSBC Bank USA cut about 65 local jobs last week as part of the bank's ongoing efforts to balance its "customer service and business support needs" with its staffing, a spokesman said Monday.

Spokesman Robert Sherman said the affected jobs were primarily in technology support and finance roles, across locations and business lines in Western New York. He said the decision "was made after careful deliberation and consideration of a range of factors."

Affected employees will have "priority eligibility" when applying for other HSBC jobs, he added.

"We greatly appreciate the dedication and contribution of our employees," Sherman said.

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Job drive at McDonald's

Area McDonald's locations will launch their effort to fill about 1,500 new positions today, part of a corporate plan to add 50,000 jobs nationwide.

All sites will be interviewing. Applicants also may apply online at http://www. mcdonalds.com/careers or in person.

The company hopes to fill a wide variety of positions, which includes entry-level, part-time and managerial work. Openings will vary according to the individual needs of specific sites.

The Amherst McDonald's at 5150 Sheridan Drive will have two special guests on hand in the morning to mark the occasion: author and University at Buffalo professor Jerry Newman, who wrote "My Secret Life on the McJob: Lessons in Leadership Guaranteed to Supersize Any Management Style," and William Tice, vice president of McDonald's quality, service and cleanliness.

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