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USA Networks Inc. said it was merging its Home Shopping Network and other properties with Lycos Inc., a popular World Wide Web destination, in a deal that creates a formidable new Internet company. Terms of the deal were not immediately announced. The merger is the latest seeking to combine the strengths of an established Internet company with a TV network.

Luxury carmaker BMW is not sending signals about a possible takeover even though financial analysts believe they're seeing them, a spokesman for the German company insisted. Share prices in BMW stock surged 9 percent on the Frankfurt exchange - to $820.50 - as investors appeared convinced the company would follow the lead of the recent Daimler-Chrysler and Ford-Volvo mergers. Takeover rumors were reignited by the replacement late last week of BMW's chairman and by reports that Volkswagen engineers were assigned to test which models of BMW's Rover subsidiary could be built on existing Volkswagen assembly lines.

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