News In Brief

By , Judy Nichols, and Noel Paul

General Electric finalized a deal to acquire aircraft electronics giant Honeywell International over the weekend after the latter and United Technologies Corp. (UTC) confirmed they were in merger talks. The purchase price was not immediately known, but GE chairman Jack Welch reportedly said he'd top UTC's $40 billion stock offer. The move should strengthen GE's aviation business, analysts said, but might prompt the company to divest some holdings to avoid an antitrust investigation. GE also owns the NBC television network, among other properties. Honeywell is based in Morris Township, N.J.

Ericsson, a leading maker of cellphones and the largest company in Sweden, announced plans to shift 7,100 workers to other jobs. Warning of up to $1.6 billion in expected losses this year because of "an oversupply in the mobile phone market," the company said it would attempt to retrain those employees in the production of equipment for mobile network systems. Most Ericsson cellphones offer sophisticated voice/data communications capabilities that have been slow to attract first-time customers, who make up two-thirds of the market.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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