News In Brief

The European Union unanimously vetoed General Electric's $41 billion purchase of Honeywell International Inc. - one of the world's largest industrial mergers ever. However, GE chairman Jack Welch left open the possibility of an appeal, calling the rejection a "setback." The ruling was widely expected after the companies failed to ease European fears that the deal would create an unfairly dominant position in markets for jetliner engines and aircraft electronics. Following the EU's decision, Michael Bonsignore resigned as chairman and chief executive of Honeywell.

Philips, the Dutch electronics group, is buying Marconi's Medical Systems business for $1.1 billion, making it the world's No. 2 manufacturer of medical diagnostic-imaging equipment. The takeover bid was reportedly half of what analysts said the business was worth. For U.K.-based Marconi, the deal is part of its strategy to sell everything but its core telecoms equipment business.

The German semi-public bank Bankgesellschaft Berlin reportedly plans to cut 4,164 jobs - nearly a third of its total workforce -by 2005, as part of a restructuring program to get the troubled bank back on its feet.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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