Regulators granted a unanimous OK for the controversial takeover by Germany's Deutsche Telekom of US mobile-phone company VoiceStream Wireless in a deal initially valued at $50.7 billion. The Federal Communications Commission concluded the merger was in the public interest because it would create more competition against AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and other carriers. Europe's No. 1 telecommunications company is majority-owned by the German government, which had aroused concerns in Congress over the national-security implications of the deal. VoiceStream, the US's eighth-largest mobile-phone carrier is based in Bellevue, Wash. The combined company will be able to reach 97 percent of the American market.
In another major round of layoff announcements:
* Siemens, the giant German engineering conglomerate, became the latest to scale back operations in the telecommunications industry. By September, the company said, it will eliminate 6,100 jobs in its mobile phone division - one-third of them in the US.
* Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said Tuesday it would cut more deeply into its work force than previously expected, bringing job reductions to at least 7,800 for the year.
* Moulinex-Brandt SA, a leading maker of food processors, blenders, and other electric kitchen appliances, will cut 4,000 jobs, a spokesman said. The joint French-Italian company is based in Paris.
* Scania AB of Sweden, one of the world's top makers of heavy trucks and public-transit and tour buses, said it will cut 1,200 jobs by year's end.
* Sensormatic Electronics Corp., a Boca Raton, Fla., manufacturer of theft-prevention and surveillance systems, said it hopes to save $35 million by eliminating 450 jobs.
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor