Business & Finance

The largest investor in Knight Ridder Inc., the nation's No. 2 newspaper chain, demanded that the company put itself up for sale. In a letter Tuesday, Private Capital Management (PCM) of Naples, Fla., which owns a 19 percent stake in the chain, cited the shift of advertising dollars to the Internet. The letter also reflected the 25 percent slide in Knight Ridder's stock price since last November, wiping out $1.7 billion worth of investor value. PCM warned that it might try to oust the chain's management if the latter doesn't do as asked. Knight Ridder is based in San Jose, Calif., and owns 32 dailies.

Delta Air Lines asked a federal bankruptcy court to void its contract with the union representing its 6,000 pilots after negotiations failed to win $325 million in new givebacks. The carrier's appeal, if granted, would allow it to impose the concessions unilaterally. But Delta said it remains willing to continue negotiating with the Air Line Pilots Association. Last fall, the union agreed to $1 billion in givebacks to help forestall a bankruptcy filing that ultimately came two months ago.

On a day in which new data showed a 0.2 percent drop in unemployment in Germany last month, the nation's phone-service giant, Deutsche Telekom, announced it will cut 19,000 jobs between now and 2008. The company said the reductions would come through a combination of voluntary buyouts, outsourcing, and layoffs.

Up to 500 more jobs will be cut by ING, the financial services group said, citing a need for greater efficiencies in the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) market. The company also said it would outsource other work by transferring 2,200 jobs to vendors' payrolls and would not renew 1,400 contract employees. The moves come on top of 450 layoffs that ING disclosed in July.

As of Jan. 10, bankrupt ATA Airlines will stop flying to and from Indianapolis, its base, the city's newspaper reported. Citing company officials, the Indianapolis Star said ATA plans to keep its headquarters there, along with providing charter service for the military and performing certain maintenance. But flights from Chicago's Midway Airport to Denver and Puerto Rico also will end, the Star reported.

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