Business & Finance

Lockheed Martin invoked its right to cancel a $1.7 billion merger with Titan Corp. Saturday after the latter failed to resolve an alleged bribery complaint with the Justice Department on time. Terms of the deal call for Titan to pay a $60 million breakup fee if the merger fell through, but a Lockheed spokesman said his company would waive that requirement. Titan, based in San Diego, integrates computers and communications systems for military forces and the US Department of Homeland Security. But it is being investigated for allegations that consultants for some of its subsidiaries overseas bribed officials of foreign governments to land lucrative contracts.

Microsoft asked for immediate suspension of the order by the European Union requiring that it share trade secrets with competitors and offer a stripped-down version of its Windows operating system, reported Friday. The financial news service quoted antitrust experts as saying the software giant "is very likely" to win a stay of at least two months from the European Court of First Instance on grounds that complying with the EU demand would cause it irreparable damage. But the case for a definitive suspension will be much harder to make, the experts said. The EU ruling, in March, gave Microsoft until the end of June to separate the music- and video-playing capabilities from Windows. Earlier this month, in a separate move, Microsoft asked the court to overturn its record $602 million fine in the same case. Spokesmen for the company and for the appeals court, Europe's highest, declined to comment on the latest move.

The parent company of DHL express package-delivery service will invest $1.2 billion to try to make it more competitive with American rivals United Parcel Service and FedEx Corp., reported. It said the money will be spent on doubling regional sorting centers; consolidating air-cargo operations at the former Airborne Inc. center in Wilmington, Ohio; and adding to its computer system. DHL is owned by Deutsche Post AG of Germany, which bought Airborne last year for $1 billion.

Package-tour giant Thomas Cook AG is planning a new round of austerity moves, reports said, that would include most or all of the following: an increase in the workweek for employees to 40 hours; a 3 percent pay cut; a reduction of five days in annual paid vacation; and linking bonuses to earnings. The struggling company announced 2,400 layoffs last year and 500 more earlier this year.

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