News In Brief

In a key strategic shift affecting the cellphone industry, Motorola said it plans for the first time to sell its wireless chips and technology to rivals and the contract manufacturers that work for them. Schaumburg, Ill.-based Moto-rola also plans to sell preassembled circuit boards with the chips used in cellphones, much as the computer industry uses preassembled "motherboards." Analysts said the change is an attempt by the battered company to start making money again after it cut 30,000 jobs.

Lucent Technologies is near a deal to sell its fiber unit to Japan's Furukawa Electric Co. for $2.75 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported. Citing sources familiar with the situation, the Journal said that should a deal be reached, it would end five months of negotiations over the future of Lucent's Optical Fiber Solutions business. Furukawa, Japan's No. 1 maker of fiber-optic parts, declined to comment.

Bridgestone Corp. is not considering a change in the name of its troubled Firestone division in the US as part of a new brand strategy and will fight federal efforts to force another recall of Firestone tires in the courts, if necessary, a senior company official said in Tokyo. Last week in Washington, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiated proceedings toward a forced new recall of Firestone Wilderness AT tires, although it hasn't said how many. A year ago next month, Firestone voluntarily recalled 6.5 million tires. Meanwhile, Toyota, Japan's No. 1 automaker, announced it would continue to mount Firestone tires on its new cars regardless of another recall.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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