Regional telephone company SBC Communications Inc. was expected to make Cisco Systems Inc., the world's biggest maker of computer network equipment, its preferred provider of networking gear. Precise terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but it was estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Meanwhile, 18 current and former SBC employees filed a $1.15 billion class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming it manipulated 401(k) accounts for corporate gain. The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Los Angeles, claims breach of trust over the sale of $600 million worth of holdings in AirTouch, an SBC competitor now known as Vodafone AirTouch.
In a $1.16 billion stock-and-cash deal, AT&T and Cablevision Systems Corp. announced they'd swap cable systems in some northern suburbs of New York City and in eastern Massachusetts. The move is aimed at creating a larger and more efficient cluster of customers in the two markets.
A merger resulting in the world's fifth-largest banking group was announced in Tokyo by Mitsubishi Trust & Banking Corp. and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd. The combined company will have about $857 billion in assets. The deal is the final piece in a plan to consolidate Japan's nine major city banks into four groups as the government loosens its regulatory authority.
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