News In Brief

The U.K. government blocked Britain's third-largest bank, Lloyds TSB Group, from paying $27.9 billion to acquire mortgage lender Abbey National PLC, arguing the deal would reduce competition and drive up prices in the banking industry. The long-awaited announcement by the Department of Trade and Industry was a major setback to Lloyds, which had made three separate offers for Abbey. Analysts said the decision effectively ends for now any prospect of takeovers among the UK's big four banks.

Alcatel, the French telecommunications giant, will cut another 2,500 jobs in its US operations because of an ongoing slump in telecom equipment sales. The news brings Alcatel's total cuts in the US to nearly 4,700 this year - more than a fourth of its US workforce. A spokesman said the latest layoffs will span management and manufacturing ranks and will occur mostly at the firm's US headquarters in Plano, Texas, and in Raleigh, N.C.

In another blow to online grocery shopping, Webvan, one of the US's highest-profile Internet businesses, said it will file for bankruptcy protection and lay off 2,000 workers. The company spent more than $800 million in two years without turning a profit, and reportedly absorbed $10 to $15 in delivery costs per order in trying to offer competitive prices. Other Web grocery operations to fold, merge, or regroup include Streamline, HomeGrocer, and Peapod. Less than 1 percent of Americans bought groceries online in the past year, according to Jupiter Media Metrix.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK