Business & Finance

The National Football League agreed to $8 billion in contract extensions with Fox and CBS to televise Sunday afternoon games for six more years, the league announced Monday. The extensions to the current contract, which expires after the 2005 season, will run through 2011 and represent a 25 percent increase in rights fees. The package allows the the league to better showcase important late-season games in prime time. The agreements also include a commitment by CBS and Fox to phase in highdefinition coverage for all games and introduce new interactive elements to NFL telecasts.

Microsoft Corp. made additional headway in resolving some of its software disputes by agreeing to pay $536 million to longtime rival Novell Inc. and an undisclosed sum to Computer & Communications Industry Association, a trade group that represents many Microsoft rivals, The Washington Post reported Monday. The settlements mean Novell and the CCIA will withdraw from an antitrust suit brought by the European Union against Microsoft, which is accused of blocking rivals from manufacturing software compatible with Microsoft's Windows systems. The resolutions include assurances that Novell and the CCIA will not appeal the Justice Department's antitrust deal with Microsoft to the Supreme Court.

Cap Gemini SA, a struggling computer-services company based in Paris, said Tuesday that it will cut as many as 1,500 jobs in order to reduce management layers and cost overruns, Bloomberg.com reported. Cap Gemini shed 3.900 jobs last year and has lost money for almost three years. In other layoff news:

• Aker Yards ASA, the biggest shipbuilder in Europe, will eliminate 700 jobs as it combines its three shipyards in Finland into one operation.

• Nokia Corp., the world's largest mobile phone maker, said Monday that it will cut 400 jobs at its phone refurbishing plant in Melbourne, Fla., because there aren't enough phones coming in for repairs.

Rogers Wireless Communications, which provides mobile phone service to nearly 4 million Canadian customers, will buy Microcell Telecommunications Inc. for $1.17 billion after Microcell investors approved of the merger, Bloomberg.com said Monday. By adding Microcell's 1.28 million clients, Rogers Wireless will surpass Bell Canada to become Canada's No. 1 mobile-phone carrier.

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