Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, January 10, 2000

AT&T Corp. slashes manager's benefits

NEW YORK -- AT&T Corp., the No. 1 U.S. telephone company, is cutting benefits for about 50,000 managers -- a third of its work force -- as Chief Executive C. Michael Armstrong works to cut $2 billion in costs. AT&T will no longer provide eye care, free legal assistance or certain benefits for retired employees, according to an e-mail sent to managers Thursday, Bloomberg News reported. The changes, effective Feb. 1, are expected to save millions of dollars annually, AT&T spokesman Burke Stinson said, without being more specific. Armstrong, who's been at AT&T since November 1997, promised to slash costs to boost growth and improve profitability as the company's main long-distance business declines. Last month, he said AT&T's sales will rise 8 percent to 9 percent this year, the biggest gain since it divested local phone operations in 1984.

IBM chooses Linux as best Web platform

NEW YORK -- IBM today announced that all of its powerful network computers will be able to run on the Linux operating system, embracing the fast-growing rival to other Unix formats and Microsoft's Windows as the best platform for Internet commerce. The leading manufacturer of computer servers said all four of its product lines will now be compatible with Linux, a Unix-based operating system that's grown hugely popular among independent software developers since its Finnish creator started giving it away for free. Coming from IBM, the announcement essentially finalizes the mainstreaming of Linux -- elevating it from the ranks of grass-root upstart to the same playing field as the Solaris system that Sun Microsystems sells with its Unix servers, the Windows NT system, and AIX, which is IBM's version of the Unix platform.

In other news . . .

Bullet McLEAN, Va. -- Nextlink Communications Inc., a phone company controlled by entrepreneur Craig McCaw, agreed to buy Concentric Network Corp. for $2.9 billion in stock to add Internet access and Web-hosting to its long-distance and local phone service.

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