News In Brief
The New York Times Co. announced it would lay off 17 percent of its workforce at its Internet subsidiary, New York Times Digital, in hopes of meeting its financial goals by the end of next year. New York Times Digital, which operates Internet sites including NYTimes.com, newyorktoday.com, and Boston.com, will eliminate 69 positions. The move follows similar cuts announced by newspaper giant Knight Ridder last month and News Corp.'s report last week that it was shutting down its online division.
Bankruptcy protection was granted to high-tech speech recognition company Lernout & Hauspie NV by a court in Belgium, following a similar move Nov. 29 by a federal court in the US. The parent company of Dictaphone and other American interests said it would implement Phase 1 of a "recovery plan" by laying off 1,200 employees, 800 of them immediately. Lernout & Hauspie is based in Ieper, Belgium.
Executives of Foster's, one of the world's leading brewers, were preparing a statement on published reports that the company is about to be taken over by British beverage giant Diageo PLC for $6.2 billion. Melbourne, Australia-based Foster's, with 14,000 employees and sales last year of more than $2 billion, has been denying it had an offer from Diageo. The latter teamed with France's Pernod Ricard just before Christmas to buy the Seagram's beverage empire for $8.15 billion in cash.
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