News In Brief
Round-the-clock sessions in St. Louis resulted in a tentative agreement between Bridgestone/Firestone and union negotiators on a set of strike-averting, three-year contracts. The terms, for which details were unavailable as the Monitor went to press, cover more than 8,000 members of the United Steelworkers of America at nine US plants. The agreement now goes to the union rank and file for ratification, during which the company said production would continue. Earlier, Firestone said a strike would have minimal impact on its recall of millions of tires, because the facilities where labor negotiations were taking place didn't make tires affected by the action. (Related story, page 2.)
WorldCom Inc. was expected to announce it will buy Intermedia Communications Inc. in order to acquire a controlling stake in Digex Inc., a Web services company. The Wall Street Journal reported that WorldCom bid $39 a share for Intermedia, which topped a $22-per-share offer by rival Global Crossing Ltd. More than $3 billion in Intermedia debt also would be assumed, the Journal said. Intermedia, based in Tampa, Fla., provides voice and data services to more than 90,000 business and government customers. It offers Internet and data services through its 64 percent stake in Beltsville, Md.-based Digex, whose customers include Nissan and clothing retailer J. Crew.
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