Business & Finance

Delta Air Lines Inc. let its pilots know that it needs them to make a minimum of $1 billion in concessions in an open letter from Gerald Grinstein on Friday. Last week the pilots said they'd accept a 23 percent pay cut, roughly twice their previous offer, in order to save the airline between $655 million and $705 million a year. The third-largest US carrier, however, say that's not enough to avoid filing for bankruptcy protection.

In what shapes up as the first bidding war among Japanese banks, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. said late last week that it plans a hostile takeover of UFJ Holdings Inc., according to Bloomberg.com. Merging the two would create the world's largest lender.

General Electric Co. will lay off 525 workers at its Bloomington, Ind., refrigerator plant, the company announced late last week. The layoffs, expected in March 2005, are the result of GE's plan to relocate production of its high-end refrigerators from Indiana to Celaya, Mexico. About 1,125 employees remain at the plant.

May Department Stores Co. has offered all 25,000 former employees of Marshall Field's jobs in the $3.2 billion merger deal completed on Friday. May acquired 62 Marshall Fields's stores from Target Corp, which said last week that it is selling its Mervyn's department stores to an investment consortium for about $1.65 billion in cash.

Internet users should be pestered by fewer pop-up ads now that the San Diego-based company D Squared Solutions LLC has agreed not to use Windows Messenger Services to peddle its ad-blocking software. The agreement is part of a deal with Federal Trade Commission to avoid a lawsuit over the ads, which users can't refuse. The company could advertise to 135,000 users per hour from its database of 2 billion.

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