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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Tuesday, March 2, 1999

Sales by check up 2.1% in Hawaii

Retail purchases in Hawaii by check-writing consumers rose 2.1 percent in February, according to a company that monitors such transactions. The increase over last February's total was almost identical to the 2.0 percent increase nationally, TeleCheck Services Inc. said. Paying with checks accounts for about 37 percent of consumer spending nationally, TeleCheck said.

Alcatel buys Xylan in $2 billion deal

PARIS -- French telecommunications company Alcatel SA is buying the California-based Internet equipment maker Xylan Corp. for about $2 billion in cash in a move that will boost Alcatel's profile in the United States.

The purchase will allow Alcatel to strengthen its position as an equipment supplier to U.S. telephone companies, using Xylan's expertise in making switches and routing gear needed for high-speed data networks. Alcatel already owns 6.5 percent of Xylan.

In other news . . .

TOKYO -- Sony Computer Entertainment today unveiled a new version of its popular PlayStation video-game player, a more powerful system with better graphics and memory that is expected to be launched next year. The widely anticipated player, provisionally named PlayStation II, will use a 128-bit microprocessor. It is four times more powerful than the current PlayStation on the market.





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