American Greetings is buying Gibson Greetings for about $162 million in a cash deal that unites the second- and third-largest U.S. greeting card makers behind industry leader Hallmark. Under the deal, Cleveland-based American Greetings will pay $10.25 for each of Gibson Greetings' 15.8 million shares, said Morry Weiss, chairman and chief executive of American Greetings.

DaimlerChrysler said it will discontinue the 71-year-old Plymouth brand at the end of September 2001 because of declining sales and changing tastes of U.S. car buyers. The automaker plans to focus on worldwide growth of its Chrysler brand. Plymouth is a United States-only brand.

Packard Bell NEC, once the second-largest U.S. maker of personal computers, is pulling most of its home PCs from stores because of millions of dollars in losses. The company also said it will lay off 1,400 employees in Sacramento by the end of the year. The company will stop selling its consumer PC models in stores, except for its Z1 desktop.

Lenox Healthcare, the second-largest privately held nursing home operator in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing cuts in Medicare reimbursements as the chief cause of its troubles.

US Airways and the families of four victims of the 1994 crash of US Airways Flight 427 near Pittsburgh reached a collective $48 million settlement, which included the largest single settlement in U.S. commercial aviation history, attorneys said. Federal investigators later blamed a jammed hydraulic valve that caused the rudder to move in the reverse direction to the pilot's instructions.

RealNetworks, a seller of computer programs for playing audio and video clips from the Internet, issued a software patch that bars transmission of information to the company about the listening habits of users. That feature had been attacked as a violation of user privacy. The patch can be found at www.real.com/rjcentral/privacyupdate.html.

INTERNATIONAL

South Korea banned its national carrier, Korean Air Lines, from flying to Guam and Saipan for two years after U.S. authorities blamed pilot error for an August 1997 crash in Guam that killed 228 people. KAL was also banned from increasing international flights for the next year, the Construction and Transportation Industry said.

LOCAL BUSINESS

The $30 million renovation of Mazza Gallerie, an enclosed mall that has languished for years in one of the Washington area's affluent neighborhoods, is complete. Chicago developer Daniel McCaffery has built large windows and bigger entrances to help open the once fortress-like shopping center to the streets of Friendship Heights. The grand reopening is today.

Host Marriott chief executive Terence C. Golden will retire when the Bethesda company holds its annual shareholders meeting May 18. Christopher J. Nassetta, 37, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will succeed Golden, 55, who will remain on the board of directors.

America Online of Dulles will invest $30 million in Blockbuster's Web unit, in a three-year deal to develop high-speed transmission technologies that will move the video chain closer to its goal of using the Internet to deliver movies electronically. The companies also signed a co-marketing agreement: AOL will feature a link to Blockbuster.com on its entertainment channel and in exchange Blockbuster will promote AOL in its 4,000 stores. Shares of Dallas-based Blockbuster jumped $1.37 1/2, to $13.87 1/2, and shares of AOL rose $5.87 1/2, to $139.