From wire reports
Internet service: Microsoft plans promotion campaign for MSN sites
Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, said Wednesday it will spend $1 billion to promote its third-place MSN network of Web sites, the most it has spent on a consumer-marketing campaign. Microsoft will spend $150 million on TV and Internet advertising and the rest on promotions, rebates and programs with marketing partners. The company is trying to draw more viewers to its sites as it competes with Web networks from America Online Inc. and Yahoo Inc.
Corporate acquisition: Broadcom buying networking company Allayer
Broadcom Corp., maker of cable modems and computer-network switches, will buy computer-networking company Allayer Communications for $274 million, Allayer's major shareholder, Acer Technology Ventures, said Wednesday. Acer Technology, an investment fund that is part of Taiwan's biggest computer maker Acer Inc., said Broadcom, of Irvine, Calif., wanted to buy closely held Allayer to improve its computer- and telecommunications-networking capabilities. Acer Technology said it had decided to sell Allayer, of San Jose, Calif., after realizing a $22 million profit on its initial investment.
Resignation announcement: Lindahl to leave European tech business ABB
Describing himself as "a punch-card type of guy" in the Internet era, Goran Lindahl, chief executive of Swiss-Swedish technology group ABB Ltd., said Wednesday in London that he would step down at the end of the year. For four years, he steered the company into technology-based businesses and away from its 110-year traditions in power generation and heavy engineering. The announcement surprised investors and battered ABB stock. ABB said Mr. Lindahl, 55, would be replaced by Jorgen Centerman, 48, a longtime employee of ABB who heads its fast-growing automation business. The changeover came as ABB faced the likelihood of tough new competition from General Electric Co.'s $45 billion acquisition of Honeywell International, which will create one of the world's biggest automation concerns. ABB, which employs 165,000 people in 100 countries, also said that it was postponing a planned stock listing in New York until early next year because of the volatility of the technology markets.