News In Brief

The proposed $41 billion merger between General Electric and Honeywell was undergoing its final review in Brussels by antitrust regulators from the European Union, amid expectations that they'll reject it. A vote is believed likely July 3. Responding to a letter from US Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D) of West Virginia that warned of "a chilling effect" on future transatlantic cooperation if the merger is rejected, a senior EU official said attempts at "political intervention" would not sway the decision.

The US' No. 1 savings and loan company, Washington Mutual, said it will acquire Dime Bancorp Inc. for $5.2 billion in cash and stock. The deal, which will give Washington Mutual a foothold in the Northeastern market, will involve an unspecified number of layoffs, a spokesman said. Washington Mutual is based in Seattle; Dime Bancorp in New York.

A strike against American Airlines that could have begun Sunday appeared unlikely with the announcement of a tentative contract agreement between the carrier and the union representing its 15,000 mechanics and other maintenance employees. If ratified by the rank and file, the agreement will make them eligible for pay increases of up to 22 percent, retroactive to March 1. American still could be struck as soon as this weekend by unionized flight attendants, and contract negotiations with its pilots are due to open later this summer.

Compaq Computer Corp. intends to shift its focus by year's end from hardware to "industry-specific" software/hardware/service packages, The Wall Street Journal's online edition reported, citing an internal company memo. It said Compaq expects to target such industries as healthcare, telecommunications, and manufacturing.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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