AlliedSignal and Honeywell must sell major portions of their avionics businesses to win government approval of their $16 billion merger. The two companies are major providers of avionics and advanced technology to commercial aircraft, space and U.S. defense customers. The Justice Department argued that their original proposed deal would have substantially reduced competition and resulted in higher prices and lower quality for these products. In the settlement with the government, AlliedSignal agreed to sell divisions in Olathe, Kan.; Teterboro, N.J.; Cheshire, Conn.; Newark, Ohio; and Redmond, Wash. Honeywell must sell its division in Glendale, Ariz.

W.R. Grace & Co. was ordered by a New York jury to pay $11.6 million to developer Sheldon H. Solow in a lawsuit over fireproofing material containing asbestos that was installed at one of Solow's buildings. The jury found that Solow sustained $30.6 million in damage but that Grace, which manufactured the material, was liable for only 38 percent of the amount. Solow and his company, Solow Development, were found liable for the rest of the damages. The fireproofing in the building, at 9 W. 57th St. in Manhattan, contained 10 percent asbestos and was installed in the early 1970s, said Andrew Hayes, an attorney for Solow. The damages were for costs of removing and managing the material.

Gas prices rose from a 12-week low to $1.233 a gallon, reflecting higher crude oil prices last week, a government survey showed. The average nationwide pump price for regular self-serve gasoline rose 0.3 cents during the past week, as prices rose in the East and the Midwest, according to the Department of Energy survey of 800 filling stations. Oil prices are down almost 3 percent since reaching a three-year high of $1.268 on Sept. 20.

Priceline.com is entering the long-distance phone business, promising to give customers the chance to name their price for a certain number of minutes to a specific domestic or international location. The Internet service, which made its name selling airplane tickets, hotel rooms and cars, said customers will save 20 percent to 30 percent off regular rates as long-distance carriers compete for their business. Callers using Priceline will have to dial a special number. They will have per-call options, as well as a call-anywhere plan, through the new service, expected to start next

year.

T-bill rates rose. The discount rate on three-month Treasury bills auctioned yesterday rose to 5.03 percent, from 4.995 percent the previous week. Rates on six-month bills rose to 5.12 percent from 5.09 percent. The actual return to investors is 5.177 percent for three-month bills, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,874.30, and 5.342 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,742.60. Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for changing adjustable-rate mortgages, fell to 5.45 percent last week from 5.51 percent the previous week.

The Republican National Committee is expected to announce today that it will begin selling access to the Internet early next year. The service would cost $19.95 a month for most people, but would be free for the party's big donors. Subscribers will get an e-mail address with the extension GOPnet.com.

Zenith Electronics, nearly driven to extinction by competition from Asian manufacturers, is emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a subsidiary of Korea's LG Electronics. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., approved Zenith's prepackaged reorganization plan, the company announced.

Knight Ridder said it will create a separate unit for its online businesses, as the number two U.S. newspaper publisher aims to develop a stand-alone network of local city guides on the Internet. Knight Ridder, based in San Jose, said it will manage the new unit, KnightRidder.com, as a separate business.

EARNINGSBP Amoco said its profit from operations rose 72 percent, to $1.96 billion, in the third quarter. The London-based oil giant, formed last year by British Petroleum's purchase of Chicago-based Amoco, attributed the improvement to increasing crude oil prices and cost cutting.

British Airways, citing too many seats and not enough passengers, said its pretax profit for the first half fell 38 percent, to $389 million, from last year.

LOCAL BUSINESSThe Washington Post Co. said it will purchase up to 500,000 shares of its Class B stock at a price of $575 a share through a tender offer beginning tomorrow and ending Dec. 10. The Post may increase the repurchase if more than 500,000 shares are offered. The repurchase price is $31 per share above The Post's closing price yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange. The Post has 8.3 million Class B shares outstanding and during the first nine months of 1999 had repurchased just over 66,000 shares of its stock for about $36 million.

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