Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, March 29, 1999

Hawaii construction contracts up 56%

Contracts for future construction in Hawaii shot up 56 percent last month compared with February 1998, according to a monthly industry report. The report by the F.W. Dodge Division of The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. noted that the total value of construction contracts signed in February equaled $192.63 million vs. $123.71 million a year earlier. For the first two months of 1999, total construction contracts were valued at $285.49 million, up 2 percent from $281.16 million in the same period last year, according to F.W. Dodge. to add auction service

SEATTLE -- Inc., the top online retailer of books and music, said it will add an auction service to attract more visitors to its Web site and capitalize on a fast-growing and profitable form of Internet commerce.

Amazon will go head-to-head with leading auctioneer EBay Inc., one of the few Internet retailers turning a profit. Amazon, which started by selling books in 1995, has been adding products such as compact discs and videos to lure more customers, becoming one of the Web's most-visited shopping sites. Chief Executive Jeff Bezos hopes auctions will get shoppers to stay longer at Amazon's site, boosting sales of other products, Bloomberg News reported.

Lucent, AT&T sign $1 billion deal

MURRAY HILL, N.J. --Lucent Technologies Inc. said today it signed a four-year agreement to supply AT&T Corp. with $1 billion in equipment and services. Under the contract, Lucent will work with AT&T to build networks for AT&T's new 1900-megahertz wireless service, DigitalPCS, as well as provide enhancements for existing networks.

In other news ...

WASHINGTON -- New home sales declined 2 percent in February, the third consecutive drop since they hit a record high last fall. Americans purchased new homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 881,000 last month, a five-month low and down from 899,000 in January, the Commerce Department said today.

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