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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Tuesday, April 13, 1999

Cisco Systems buys GeoTel for $2 billion

LOWELL, Mass. -- GeoTel Communications Corp. is being acquired by network equipment manufacturer Cisco Systems Inc. in a nearly $2 billion stock deal announced today.

Cisco, based in San Jose, Calif., bought the producer of call-routing telecommunications software as part of its plan to integrate data, voice and video over a single Internet-based network, said Cisco spokesman Doug Wills. Under terms of the agreement, Cisco will exchange 0.5138 shares of Cisco common stock for every outstanding share and option of GeoTel.

Amazon.com bids for 'Net auction firm

SEATTLE -- Amazon.com Inc. said today it agreed to acquire LiveBid.com, an Internet auction company, for an undisclosed sum, in a move to expand its own Web auction service. Amazon.com said the acquisition includes LiveBid.com's real-time software technology, which allows online participants to bid in live online auctions.

The acquisition will close sometime this spring. Amazon.com, based in Seattle, is an online bookseller and also operates Amazon.com Auctions, where sellers can offer items for sale to 8 million Amazon.com customers.

U.S. inflation tame; retail sales rise

WASHINGTON -- Inflation remained restrained in March even as gasoline prices under $1 a gallon disappeared. And Easter shopping and fat tax-refund checks helped keep retail sales advancing for the eighth consecutive month.

The Consumer Price Index rose a modest 0.2 percent in March, the Labor Department said today. The inflation rate for the first three months of the year, at 1.5 percent, held just under the 12-year low of 1.6 percent for all of last year.

Retail sales, meanwhile, rose 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department said. That would be considered rather weak, except it came on top of a revised 1.7 percent gain in February, the strongest in five years and nearly double the original 0.9 percent estimate, and a 1.3 percent gain in January.





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