Proposed Macy merger probedR.H. Macy & Co. said yesterday...

BUSINESS DIGEST

June 14, 1994

Proposed Macy merger probed

R.H. Macy & Co. said yesterday that New York's attorney general was looking into whether a merger with Federated Department Stores Inc. would violate antitrust laws.

The announcement came after Macy met Friday with Federated to discuss its rival's $3.83 billion merger proposal.

Analysts said Macy might have disclosed the probe now, after its fTC meeting with Federated, to emphasize its determination to remain independent after it exits Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Macy had been raising the possibility of antitrust violations to knock Federated's merger proposal, said one analyst.

Delta to eliminate 2,500 jobs

Delta Air Lines Inc. said yesterday that it will eliminate 2,500 technical jobs over the next 12 months in the first step of a huge campaign to cut costs and slash its work force.

The Atlanta-based airline said the job cuts -- which make up more than 22 percent of the technical operations division's work force of 11,100 -- are expected to help reduce the unit's annual budget by $175 million to $280 million.

Ogilvy loses AT&T account

Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide's stunning victory last month in landing an IBM account valued at up to $500 million lost a little of its sweetness yesterday, as AT&T Corp. acknowledged that it was dropping Ogilvy from its roster of advertising agencies because it sees a conflict of interest.

Advertising Age, which first reported AT&T's move, valued the lost billings to Ogilvy at more than $100 million.

Cable firm official apologizes

The president of the nation's largest cable company apologized yesterday for joking in a magazine interview that the industry's top regulator should be shot.

Tele-Communications Inc. issued a statement saying its president, John Malone, had called Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt to "express his regret for the quotation."

In the July issue of Wired magazine, Mr. Malone said if Vice President Al Gore wants to accelerate the drive toward advanced communications systems, "all we need is a little help . . . shoot Hundt!"

Coffee futures prices soar

Coffee futures prices neared their highest levels in five years yesterday as a USDA estimate predicting a lower world crop revived supply fears and the prospect of higher prices for the morning brew.

In active trading, spot July coffee shot up 13.10 cents to close at $1.383 a pound on the New York Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange.

On Friday, the U.S. Agriculture Department forecast a deep cut in world production.

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