News In Brief

WorldCom Inc. became the latest company to consider layoffs, as published reports said it was planning to cut as many as 11,000 of its 77,000-person workforce. One source said the layoffs were expected in slower-growing units such as consumer long-distance. WorldCom, which has faced increased competition and pricing pressure, has been trying to focus on the more-lucrative and faster-growth fields of data and Internet services. The company declined to comment on the reports.

AT&T is to announce about 2,000 job losses in its cable division as soon as today, the Financial Times reported. The layoffs will occur in AT&T Broadband, the division created from the acquisitions of cable companies TCI and MediaOne. The reductions, one source familiar with the situation said, are a result of that merger, as well as changes the cable industry has made in operations.

In the neighborhood of 2,000 jobs are to be cut before April 30 by Hewlett-Packard, a company spokeswoman said Friday. The world's third-largest computermaker has been restructuring its operations for more than a year. It missed its profit target in the final quarter of last year and has scaled back its revenue estimate for the current quarter as well, although the spokeswoman denied the layoffs were related to the financial problems.

The federal government's auction of broadband wireless spectrum licenses netted $16.8 billion in bids, the Federal Communications Commission reported. Verizon Wireless won more than a quarter of the licenses, followed by Alaska Native Wireless, which has ties to AT&T, and Cingular Wireless. Companies are expected to use the licenses to fill gaps in network coverage, improve service in crowded markets, and launch new products such as wireless data and Internet services. Similar auctions in Germany and Britain raised $47 billion and $33 billion, respectively.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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