Business & Finance

Yahoo Inc. agreed to buy business ally Overture Services, a pioneer in search-engine advertising, for $1.6 billion in stock and cash. Overture, based in Pasadena, Calif., claims 88,000 advertisers and accounted for about 20 percent of Yahoo revenues in the second quarter. The acquisition is Yahoo's second this year, and industry analysts said it's a sign that the company is likely to ramp up competition with main search-engine rival Google and with Microsoft's MSN.com.

Energy supplier Mirant Corp. filed for bankruptcy in Fort Worth, Texas, Monday, after failing to reach a restructuring agreement with its creditors. Mirant had struggled for more than a year under $11.4 billion in debt and weak revenues, in part due to fallout from the Enron scandal. The company's headquarters are in Atlanta.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer reportedly offered to raise its bid for Vivendi Universal's entertainment assets by $300 million to $11.5 billion, if the French conglomerate shares financial details on the unit by July 21. MGM is believed to be the highest of several bidders competing for Vivendi Universal Entertainment.

Angry union leaders complained that they hadn't been consulted in the decision by Britain's largest insurance company to cut 900 jobs. Aviva PLC said the layoffs will come in its Norwich Union subsidiary and that the decision is unrelated to the recent shift of some operations to India.

Another 300 layoffs were announced by Air Canada as the carrier moved closer to completing its reorganization under bankruptcy court protection. In addition, five vice presidents either resigned or retired. The airline said all the new job cuts are in its white-collar ranks and come on top of 800 others that were made public in March. It also has laid off more than 3,000 blue-collar workers this year.

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