News In Brief

IBM will pay $1 billion for Informix Corp.'s database software business, the companies announced. The deal is seen as bolstering IBM in its battle with rival software maker Oracle Corp. IBM is the world's No. 1 computer maker and, along with Oracle, is one of the two biggest makers of software used to manage business operations. Menlo Park, Calif.-based Informix gives IBM a database system used in information warehousing and transaction-handling by 100,000 customers.

Sony Corp. and Ericsson, the world's third-largest maker of cellphones, scheduled news conferences to announce a joint venture aimed at reversing their money-losing operations. The 50-50 partnership, to be called Sony-Ericsson Mobile Communications, is expected to give each a stronger presence in the other's home market. Ericsson has been piling up losses on its cellphone sales since the second quarter of last year and recently has laid off almost 25,000 workers and nonstaff consultants.

OM Group, a maker of high-tech chemicals for the aerospace, automotive, computer, and electronics industries, said it will buy dmc2, the precious metals division of Germany's Degussa AG. The deal is valued at $1.08 billion. OM Group is based in Cleveland; Degussa, in Duesseldorf.

In layoff news:

* JDS Uniphase Corp., the world's No. 1 supplier of fiber-optic components, said it will cut 5,000 jobs, 20 percent of its workforce. San Jose, Calif.-based JDS said it plans to consolidate manufacturing operations and transfer production to China.

* Morgan Stanley, the largest US investment bank, was to announce 1,500 job cuts. An industry source said most layoffs were likely to be in the US, with investment management and securities the main targets.

* Compaq Computer said it would cut 2,000 more jobs, bringing its total to 7,000 this year. The Houston-based company and world's No. 2 personal computer maker also reported a 29 percent decline in first-quarter profits.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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