Sun Microsystems Inc., the largest manufacturer of computers that serve up Web pages, said it would take over Cobalt Networks Inc. in a $2 billion stock swap. A Sun executive said the move was designed to strengthen the company's entry into the growing, low-end market of service appliances, of which Cobalt is a leading supplier. Cobalt computers are used by companies to set up Web sites and route e-mail. The deal comes 10 months after Cobalt stock soared almost 500 percent in its initial public offering on the Nasdaq market. Cobalt is based in Mountain View, Calif.; Sun, in Palo Alto, Calif.
A $2.25 billion stock deal was announced by ADC Tele-communications Inc. to buy Broadband Access Systems, which specializes in Internet-access software and hardware. ADC, based in Minnetonka, Minn., said the acquisition would help it take advantage of an expected surge in demand for high-speed Web services over cable-modem and digital-subscriber line networks. Broadband Access is based in Westborough, Mass.
Four thousand employees will be laid off as part of a $352 million cost-cutting plan by Telstra Corp., the largest phone company in Australia, an announcement said. The plan calls for the layoffs to be completed over the next three years as Telstra consolidates operations from 280 "call centers" to as few as 30.
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