Battle of the Brands

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They don't even sell similar products, so why is

Reebok

(RBK)

seething over

Corel's

(COSFF)

advertising? Because Venus Williams gets paid to wear

Reebok

gear. The

Boston Globe

notes that Williams played her match yesterday wearing the logo of U.S. Open sponsor Corel -- in clear violation of Reebok's exclusive contract with her -- but faced major fines if she did not wear the logo of the tournament's sponsors.

I've got one word for you: plastic. The

Washington Post

reports that "

Chevy Chase Bank

announced yesterday that it has sold its $4.9 billion credit card portfolio to

First USA

of Wilmington, Del."

Things may get a little slippery, reports the

Telegraph

, as massive job cuts and gas station and refinery plant closures are expected after yesterday's announcement by

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

that they would consolidate their European outlets.

Detroit Diesel

(DDC)

has developed a clean-burning diesel engine that may one day power SUVs. According to the

Detroit Free Press

, the company says the engine "isn't much louder than a conventional V6 engine, the frame will last for 250,000 miles and will never develop the notorious rattle or stench of older diesels."

Sony's

(SNE) - Get Report

, the top U.S. electronics retailer, will end its second quarter far above industry analyst expectations at 40 cents a share, the

Minneapolis Star Tribune

said.

There's no gap in the

Gap's

(GPS) - Get Report

sales. The

San Francisco Chronicle

reports that the company's stock "rose 10% yesterday as the company reported a 9% increase in comparable store sales in August."

The fate of

Kia Motors

will be decided by Sept. 28, according to the

Korea Times

. A second round of international bidding for the insolvent company and its subsidiary

Asia Motor

should begin by the 28th and

Ford

(F) - Get Report

,

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

,

Hyundai

,

Daewoo

and

Samsung

are expected to place bids.

Coffee, tea or me? The

South China Morning Post

reports that 12

Safeway

(SWY)

employees have filed grievances over the supermarket chain's smile-and-make-eye-contact rule." Several clerks complain that customers misinterpret the friendliness as propositions and, as a result, have been harassed by regular customers.

And if you've been lacking a little motivation...

An Australian swimming coach has been told to say "see you later alligator" to a newly devised method of motivation. The coach was planning on using a drugged and bound crocodile to encourage his young pupils to swim faster. A city council member was quoted as saying, "We do not condone the stress to a crocodile that must ensue from being physically restrained and put in chlorinated water." In the

Telegraph

.