News In Brief

Ford Motor Co. will pay $3.8 million and hire 100 women and minorities to settle a discrimination complaint with the Labor Department, a spokesman said. The money will compensate an as-yet undetermined number of women and minority applicants who sought work at certain plants in the mid-'90s. Ford, the world's No. 2 automaker, did not admit to wrongdoing but agreed to the settlement to avoid costly litigation, the spokesman said.

In an all-stock "merger of equals," rival carriers Norwich Union and CGU Plc. announced they'll join to form Britain's largest general-insurance company. The deal was valued at about $30 billion, but was expected to result in the loss of 5,000 jobs. In a related move, CGU said it would sell its US property and casualty business, estimated to be worth almost $4 billion.

Snyder Communications, whose clients include Microsoft and McDonald's, agreed to be bought by Havas Advertising of Paris for $2.1 billion in a deal described as the industry's largest. The transaction also includes Snyder advertising and marketing subsidiaries Arnold Communications, Brann Worldwide, Bounty SCA Worldwide, and Snyder is based in Bethesda, Md.

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