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Airtouch Communications, which agreed to be bought by Britain's Vodafone Group, said it still hopes to forge a national partnership with its previous suitor, Bell Atlantic. San Francisco-based AirTouch, a global wireless phone giant, agreed to be acquired by Vodafone for about $56 billion, ending two weeks of speculation about a takeover. In response, Bell Atlantic has filed a lawsuit in San Francisco against AirTouch, seeking to void clauses in their PrimeCo partnership that prevent the two from competing.

Online shopping for the year-end holidays left many consumers hesitant to subject themselves to the experience again, results of a new survey indicate. Among the complaints: charging credit cards for items never ordered, failure to fulfill orders, late deliveries, accepting orders for products out of stock, and poor customer-service departments. In a poll of 67,000 shoppers, Bizrate.com, a Los Angeles research group, found only 46 percent of respondents who'd experienced delivery problems willing to consider making further online purchases. Online sales for the holidays are estimated at $3.14 billion.

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