News In Brief

A deal creating the US's second-largest regional air carrier could materialize from negotiations, reported by The Washington Post, between Atlantic Coast Airlines and the parent company of United Airlines. The agreement is contingent on government approval of United's planned purchase of US Airways and involves the latter's Allegheny Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, and PSA Airlines, the Post said. Atlantic Coast, which flies under the United Express and Delta Connection banners, is the largest carrier at Washington's Dulles International Airport, with 250 flights a day. The newspaper said spokesmen for United and US Airways declined comment, while an Atlantic Coast spokesman called reports of the talks "speculative."

Lucent Technologies arranged $6.5 billion in new financing that will provide the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker with backup cash crucial to keeping it afloat during a sweeping reorganization. The Murray Hill, N.J.-based company has plans to cut $2 billion in annual expenses by centralizing operations and eliminating 16,000 jobs.

Sigma Networks, which has yet to report any revenues, received about $435 million in venture capital - the third-largest amount believed to have been invested to date in a US start-up company. Among the 10 backers are Benchmark Capital, Cisco Systems, and Salomon Smith Barney. San Jose, Calif.-based Sigma hopes to improve the connections between elaborate computing networks and high-speed access providers. Those connections currently are managed by phone companies.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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