Business & Finance

IBM said it would take a pretax charge of up to $2.5 billion in the current quarter due to a restructuring that has involved 6,800 layoffs – including 1,500 announced Tuesday. In an internal memo obtained by the Associated Press, IBM chief Samuel Palmisano said the "vast majority" of workers affected by job cuts have been notified.

A lawsuit filed by 29 states, led by Ohio, accuses pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb of illegally extending patents on a widely prescribed cancer treatment, delaying the availability of less expensive, generic versions. The states seek unspecified damages. Bristol-Myers said the issues raised by the suit already are the subject of litigation, and the company would continue to deal with them.

Hewlett-Packard said it expected to save $3 billion by fiscal 2004 through job cuts and other moves related to last month's merger with Compaq Computer Corp. That represents a jump from $2.5 billion predicted earlier. Most of the 15,000 layoffs were from voluntary retirements, chief executive Carly Fiorina said. But she didn't rule out more reductions if business conditions worsen.

McDonald's agreed to donate $10 million to Hindus and other groups for mislabeling French fries and hash brown potatoes as vegetarian fare. The fast-food giant also issued an apology for using vegetable oil to cook those items that contained essence of beef as a flavoring. The move settles lawsuits filed in five states.

Creditors of deeply indebted Hynix Semiconductor Inc. called a meeting of shareholders for July 24 for the purpose of replacing its board of directors. Control of all but 20 percent of the South Korean company fell to the creditors last weekend when they converted almost $2.5 billion in bonds into new stock. In all, Hynix owes more than $6 billion. Last month, the current board rejected a deal that would have merged Hynix with Micron Technology of Boise, Idaho, even though it had won the OK of the company's senior executives and the Seoul government.

Almost 500 workers, many of them in the US, will be laid off by year's end, Alcatel Optronics announced. The division of French telecommunications giant Alcatel builds lasers, amplifiers, detectors, and other components for optical-fiber systems.

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