Business & Finance

Following similar moves by rival carriers, Delta Air Lines is asking its pilots' union to accept an immediate 22 percent pay cut and other cost-saving concessions, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. United, American, and US Airways all have won significant givebacks from unions, and Delta's pilots are the highest paid in the industry. But the carrier's recently revealed $17.3 million in bonuses to executives - in a year in which it lost $1.3 billion - may complicate the effort, the newspaper said.

VISA USA agreed to pay $2 billion to settle a lawsuit by Wal-Mart and other retailers over debit-card fees. Wednesday night's deal followed MasterCard's agreement to a $1 billion settlement for the same reason. The two also pledged to stop requiring retailers that accept their credit cards to accept the debit cards as well.

Energy trader Mirant Corp. reported a $2.4 billion loss for 2002. The Atlanta company cited a sharp drop in revenue as a result of newly adopted accounting standards and hefty restructuring charges, after an independent review by auditor KPMG found $188 million in overstated earnings for 2000-2002.

Troubled Tyco International took a further $1.37 billion charge, citing both a review that found additional irregularities and tougher standards in the wake of an accounting scandal and indictments of two former top executives. But, its new management added, a companywide overhaul is almost complete. The charge led the conglomerate to post a 467.9 million net loss for the quarter ended March 31.

Bowing to the concerns of US security officials and some members of Congress, the Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. dropped out of a proposed deal to buy majority control of bankrupt fiber-optic network Global Crossing. Its agreement with Singapore Technologies Telemedia Ltd. (STT) to pay a combined $250 million for 61.5 percent of Global Crossing expired Wednesday, and a spokesman said STT would go forward alone with the effort. The spokesman denied oft-heard suggestions that Hutchison Whampoa has connections to the communist government of China and its armed forces. Such concerns have not been raised about STT. Global Crossing has had hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts with the Defense and State departments to carry their data through its undersea cables.

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