Originally created 08/07/99

Additional business news

DULLES, Va. -- America Online Inc. will make its Instant Messenger service easily available to the 2.5 million customers of two smaller Internet access services, further defying Microsoft Corp.'s attempt to crack AOL's lock on the market for real-time notes.

Microsoft is promoting its own instant messaging service but has been rebuffed so far in getting AOL to let customers of both services exchange messages.

AOL announced it will distribute its messaging service through MindSpring Enterprises and Earthlink Network, the first time the service has been available through another Internet service provider.

Deutsche Telekom buys One2One

BERLIN -- Deutsche Telekom is buying the British mobile phone business One2One for $11 billion, trying to get back on track in its transformation from former state monopoly to global communications company.

Telekom, no longer protected from competition on its home turf in Germany, unsuccessfully sought to merge with Telecom Italia earlier this year.

The solo attempt bid failed, souring Telekom's ties with partner France Telecom, which declared their relationship over. Now, France Telecom is trying to push Telekom out of their Global One alliance with Sprint Corp. and an Italian joint venture called Wind.

Volvo taking over truck maker

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- A $7.4 billion deal with Investor AB will give Volvo AB a majority stake in rival Swedish vehicle maker Scania, creating the world's second-largest manufacturer of trucks and buses.

Volvo said Friday it will buy the 49 percent stake in Scania that had been owned by Investor, the investment arm of Sweden's powerful Wallenberg business family. The acquisition gives Volvo 69.6 percent of the votes in Scania.

Scania will remain a separate division within Volvo, retaining its trademarks and distribution operations.French banking brawl winds downPARIS -- Open warfare among France's banking titans drew to a close Friday, and all sides were predicting victory.

The five-month takeover battle pits Banque Nationale de Paris against Societe Generale and Paribas. A merger of the three banks would create the world's first $1 trillion bank in terms of assets.

If BNP's offer for shares in Societe Generale and Paribas succeeds in gaining more than 50 percent of both companies, the battle will be over and its three-way merger can proceed. If BNP fails to gain control on both fronts, its two targets can proceed with their own $18.8 billion cash and stock merger.

French banking authorities won't announce the results of stockholders' pledges until Aug. 17 at the earliest.

IBM devises faster disk storage

WASHINGTON -- Researchers at IBM have discovered a way to record information dramatically faster to a computer's hard-drive or floppy disk.

A new computer hard-drive storage record was set by packing 20 billion bits of data into a square inch, more than three times that of any disk-drive currently available. More research is needed before it is available for consumers.


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