Thomson-Sun Microsystems firmThomson Consumer Electronics...

BUSINESS DIGEST

July 12, 1994

Thomson-Sun Microsystems firm

Thomson Consumer Electronics and Sun Microsystems Inc. said yesterday that they would form a company to sell equipment to enhance telephone and cable networks and services.

Executives said they will have an advantage over competitors because, instead of individual products, they will present a menu ranging from so-called "servers" that go in a carrier's main office to set-top boxes that work on home TVs.

The two companies declined to disclose financial terms or estimate when they would have products ready.

Delta to cut 4,500 jobs in division

Delta Air Lines Inc. will cut 4,500 jobs in its customer service division during the next 12 months, part of the carrier's plan to slash costs by $2 billion a year.

Yesterday's announcement brings to 7,000 the number of job cuts Delta has announced in the past month. In April, Atlanta-based Delta, the nation's third-largest airline, said it would cut as many as 15,000 jobs, or 20 percent of its work force, in its attempt to return to sustained profitability. Employees in Delta's Airport Customer Service Division will be offered voluntary retirement programs this week. Layoffs will occur if enough employees don't volunteer to leave.

Southwestern Bell seeks waiver

San Antonio-based Southwestern Bell Corp. said yesterday that it asked the Department of Justice for permission to sell long-distance phone service through independent subsidiaries outside its five-state region.

Southwestern Bell and the other regional "Baby Bells" are prohibited by a 1982 court order that broke up AT&T from providing telephone service that crosses exchange boundaries.

In seeking a waiver, Southwestern Bell said it wasn't asking for permission to carry long-distance calls originating or terminating in its local service area -- Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

'95 Saturns to have 'black box'

General Motors Corp.'s Saturn Corp. subsidiary is installing simplified versions of "black box" flight recorders in all of its 1995 models to retrieve accident data, Automotive News said yesterday.

The recorders are intended to show how the air bags in the new Saturn cars perform during a crash, the weekly publication said. All Saturn cars will have dual front air bags for 1995, instead of just the driver-side air bag.

More of coffee crop destroyed

A second freeze in as many weeks has destroyed more of next year's coffee crop in Brazil, the world's largest producer, raising the likelihood of further price increases ahead for the world's coffee drinkers.

Initial surveys estimated some 10 percent to 15 percent of the 1995-1996 crop was affected by the freeze Sunday, on top of a loss of about 40 percent of the crop in the first freeze.

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