TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Verizon-MCI Merger Faces Delay

Verizon Communications said that it expects to close its $8.46 billion acquisition of MCI early next year, instead of at the end of 2005 as previously indicated. It gave no reason for the delay.

The firm also formed a committee to oversee the two companies' integration. Its members include Verizon chief executive Ivan G. Seidenberg, MCI chief executive Michael D. Capellas and Verizon President Lawrence T. Babbio Jr., Verizon said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Verizon Wireless: Storm Will Cost $48 Million

Verizon Wireless, the second-largest U.S. mobile phone service provider, said the company will have costs of $48 million to repair or rebuild stores and cell towers damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Verizon Wireless, jointly owned by Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, has about 18 stores in the affected areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Sprint Launches Music Streams

Sprint Nextel and RealNetworks are launching a streaming music service for Sprint PCS customers called Rhapsody Radio. The service provides streaming radio stations; a service called "Beats N Breaks," which allows users to rap over prerecorded beats; music news; videos; and podcasts -- recorded audio files downloaded from the Internet -- for $6.95 a month. Sprint Nextel already uses RealNetworks to provide streaming video for its Real-RTV service.

BIOTECHNOLOGY

ImClone Board Approves Buyback

The board of ImClone Systems, developer of the Erbitux treatment for colon cancer, approved the repurchase of as much as $100 million in shares. The repurchase will occur over the next two years, New York-based ImClone disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. It would help offset dilution of shares from future grants of stock options or similar compensation to company employees or directors.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

HP to Buy Peregrine Systems

Hewlett Packard agreed to acquire software provider Peregrine Systems for $425 million, sending shares of both companies higher in early trading.

Peregrine shares rallied $6.22, or 32.6 percent, to $25.32, surpassing its 52-week high of $25 on the Pink Sheets. Hewlett shares added 54 cents to $28.88 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Under the deal, Hewlett said, it would pay $26.08 per share for Peregrine. The companies expect to close the deal by the first quarter of next year.

CUTBACKS

Siemens to Cut 2,400 German Jobs

Siemens plans to eliminate 2,400 jobs at its German computer services division and replace the unit's head as part of a plan to weed out unprofitable businesses and revive the stock. The cuts at Siemens Business Services will help the company in its attempt to save $1.8 billion over two years, the company said.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.