ANTITRUST

Lockheed-Boeing Venture Gets More Scrutiny

Lockheed Martin and Boeing said antitrust regulators are asking for additional information about their proposed government rocket-launch joint venture. The companies said they remain committed to the United Launch Alliance. Their second 30-day period for an antitrust review was set to expire yesterday. Space Exploration Technologies has sued Boeing and Bethesda-based Lockheed, alleging that the rocket-launch venture would form a monopoly.

LEGAL

W.R. Grace Defense Tactic Rejected

An attempt by W.R. Grace's defense lawyers to look for improper ties between plaintiffs' lawyers and medical personnel in its asbestos litigation was rejected by a bankruptcy judge. The Columbia company cited a Texas judge's order saying that more than 10,000 claims of health problems caused by silica -- which like asbestos causes lung damage -- were tainted by questionable practices and ties between doctors and lawyers. At stake, W.R. Grace said, was the court's final estimate of its asbestos liability as it reorganizes.

FINANCE

Freddie COO Comments on Regulator Bill

Freddie Mac President and Chief Operating Officer Eugene M. McQuade said interest rates will rise further if Congress approves legislation that would force the company and its larger rival Fannie Mae to shrink the size of their investment portfolios. McQuade's comments came a day before a House committee was scheduled to meet to consider amendments to the House bill. The House is scheduled to vote on the bill Wednesday.

MEDIA

Discovery Forms Non-Cable Media Unit

Discovery Communications has consolidated the development of content for its digital, online and other non-cable television outlets into the New Media unit, the company said. The unit is charged with finding ways to deliver Discovery content, as well as managing existing efforts. Donald A. Baer, senior executive vice president for strategy and development, will oversee the group.

STOCK

Williams Industries to Apply for Transfer

Williams Industries said it will apply to have its stock transferred to the Nasdaq Capital Market, formerly known as the Small Cap Market, from the Nasdaq National Market. Due to recently reported losses, the Manassas company does not meet the listing criteria for the Nasdaq National Market. The company's application will be submitted no later than Nov. 2.

SI International of Reston reported third-quarter profit of $4.6 million (39 cents a share), up from $2.9 million (33 cents) in the corresponding quarter a year earlier. SI, which provides information technology to the federal government, said its revenue rose 39.6 percent, to $102 million.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.