Business & Finance

Adding to Microsoft's legal woes, rival Sun Microsystems filed a lawsuit seeking more than $1 billion in damages, alleging "extensive anticompetitive conduct" toward its Java product. In January, AOL Time Warner sued Micro-soft for damages to its Netscape web browser. Last year, the software giant was found guilty of abusing its monopoly power, harming Java and Netscape. The Justice Department and nine states have OK'd a settlement in the antitrust action, but nine other states want additional restraints on Microsoft.

For the first time in its history, Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company of investment mogul Warren Buffett, lost value last year. On Saturday, the Omaha, Neb.-based company reported a 76 percent drop in net profit for 2001, due largely to insurance underwriting losses from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Buffett apologized for letting Berkshire take on a "dangerous level of risk."

In its first moves to try to emerge from bankruptcy, Kmart said it will close 284 stores in 40 states, plus Puerto Rico, and cut 22,000 jobs. The company also said Friday it will not offer severance packages to laid-off employees and will liquidate more than $1 billion worth of merchandise from the affected stores. Analysts predicted Kmart will announce at least one more wave of store-closings.

Bankrupt Global Crossing Ltd. announced another 1,600 layoffs and said it will close 71 offices and may sell its video and web conferencing business and other assets to try to lower operating expenses by $600 million. In addition, the company said Friday that some senior executives would take pay cuts of up to 30 percent. On Jan. 1, 2001, Global Crossing had about 15,000 employees. By the end of this month, there will be fewer than 6,000, reports said.

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