Business & Finance

American Airlines was reviewing a $660 million wage giveback offer from its pilots union Monday, the carrier's self-imposed deadline to reach deals on labor concessions or file for bankruptcy. American reached accords with seven of eight ground-worker groups over the weekend and said it was making progress in talks with mechanics and flight attendants. In all, it is seeking $1.8 billion in concessions. Its parent, AMR Corp., is restructuring after losing almost $5.3 billion in the past two years.

Food and cigarette giant Altria Group has warned state governments that the billions of dollars it still owes them under the landmark 1988 tobacco industry settlement are in jeopardy due to last week's penalty imposed by an Illinois court in another case, The Wall Street Journal reported. To appeal that $10.1 billion ruling, Altria's Philip Morris subsidiary must first post a $12 billion bond, an amount it is lobbying to have reduced. Many states depend on the remaining payments from the 1988 settlement to fill gaps in their budgets. Philip Morris accounts for more than half of those payments, and its next $2.5 billion installment is due April 15.

The pending merger that would have created the world's fifth-largest chemical manufacturer fell through late Sunday, the Financial Times reported. It said Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. of Tokyo called off the deal with rival Mitsui Chemicals Inc. because of the effect on stockholders of the 55-cent differential in the price of their respective shares. The merger was agreed to in November 2000, and the companies had planned to be fully integrated by next March. Sumitomo said it would seek a new merger partner for its pharmaceuticals division.

The 1,000 layoffs announced over the weekend by Sony Music Entertainment are only one part of a new reorganization plan, the Japanese electronics giant said. A spokes-man said Sony will fold its five "network companies" into four; will create three business groups (personal solutions, games, and entertainment); will install a new system of regional chiefs for the Americas, Europe, and East Asia, its three main markets; and will set up a new center to promote technologies linking hardware to software.

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