Intel won a key antitrust ruling as a federal appeals court lifted an order that required the chipmaker to provide patented microprocessor technology to Intergraph, a smaller company that makes graphic chips and workstations. The ruling lifts a legal cloud from Intel, which remains under investigation by the FCC on other antitrust issues.
Dominion Resources won FCC approval to buy Consolidated Natural Gas for $9 billion and create the fourth-largest fully integrated U.S. natural gas and electric utility. To gain approval, the companies agreed to divest Consolidated's Virginia Natural Gas within a year. The companies still need clearance from the SEC and the Energy Regulatory Commission.
The Nasdaq Stock Market said it plans to open a European stock exchange late next year with links to New York and Tokyo that will allow investors to trade shares ranging from Microsoft to Nokia around the clock. Nasdaq-Europe will be a challenge to a system being set up by eight exchanges to trade Europe's biggest stocks and list newly public companies.
Consumer borrowing slowed in September, with installment credit up 5.2 percent. Borrowing rose by $5.9 billion, to $1.37 trillion, the Fed reported. The increase, the smallest since June, was slower than the $6.8 billion expected by analysts and follows a $7.1 billion gain in August. The data suggest that consumers might be starting to rein in spending, a development the Fed likely would welcome as a possible restraint on economic growth.
Webvan Group, an online grocery started by Borders Books founder Louis Borders, rose 66 percent in its first day of trading. The stock was priced at $15. It hit a high of $34 before falling back to close at $24.87 1/2 a share as 28 million shares changed hands. The shares opened at $26, giving the company a value of $8.37 billion, just under half that of Kroger, the largest U.S. supermarket operator.
Canada's tobacco taxes will be raised in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island by 60 cents a carton, and the government vowed to intensify its efforts to cut smoking, particularly among the young.
E-Trade Group, the second-largest Internet broker, sold 1.49 million shares of Knight/Trimark Group, the biggest Nasdaq market maker, reducing its stake in the firm to less than 2 percent. E-Trade's move comes after similar sales by other owners of Knight/Trimark, including 8 million shares sold by TD Waterhouse Group last month. TD Waterhouse and E-Trade were among two dozen brokerages that helped form Knight/Trimark in 1995.
Kevin English, chairman and chief executive of TheStreet.com, has resigned by "mutual agreement" with the company's board of directors. Thomas Clarke, who had been named the company's president and chief operating officer less than two weeks ago, will be the new CEO. Fred Wilson, a board member and managing partner of Internet venture capital firm Flatiron Partners, will be the new chairman.
BP Solarex, the solar energy division of BP Amoco, will move its headquarters to Linthicum, Md., from Frederick, Md., in January to be near Baltimore-Washington International Airport. The move will affect about 25.
Cort Business Services of Fairfax called off its merger with Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. The merger deal fell through because of insufficient support from Cort shareholders and weakness of the high-yield debt market, according to a company press release. An investment group including New York buyout firm BRS and members of Cort's management team would have acquired the company for $28 a share.