News In Brief

General Electric chairman and chief executive Jack Welch turned down a last-minute offer by Honeywell International to save their $41 billion merger, saying it would not be enough to save the deal from rejection by European regulators, expected to vote on the proposed merger tomorrow. Honeywell offered to reduce GE's takeover price by $1 billion, but Welch said Honeywell's proposal "makes no sense" for GE shareholders.

Monster.com and HotJobs.com, both leading online job-hunting and recruitment sites, will be owned by the same company. TMP, a New York-based recruitment firm and Monster.com's parent company, is buying HotJobs for about $460 million in stock. TMP said it intends to maintain HotJobs.com as a stand-alone site and brand.

Computer and printer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. asked its 45,000 US employees to take pay cuts or use up vacation days in a bid to trim costs. Though not mandatory, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm is offering workers three choices: a 10 percent salary cut through Oct. 31, use up eight additional paid vacation days, or a 5 percent cut and four additional vacation days. HP has been hit by falling demand for personal computers, peripherals, and servers.

Agere Systems, the semiconductor business recently spun off from Lucent Technologies, plans to cut an additional 4,000 jobs, bringing its total job cuts this year to 6,000. The firm cited a downturn in the communications market. After cuts are complete, the Allentown, Pa.-based company will employ 12,500 workers.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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