MCI directory service opposedOne month after its start...

BUSINESS DIGEST

November 16, 1994

MCI directory service opposed

One month after its start, MCI's long-distance directory service has run into opposition from 17 states, which contend it flouts a federal law and should be halted.

Attorneys general from the states, including California, New York, Florida, Michigan and Illinois, filed a complaint yesterday with the Federal Communications Commission.

The states said MCI's service violates a 1992 law that generally forbids companies from charging for calls to toll-free 800 numbers. Last month, AT&T Corp. filed a similar complaint.

MCI has said it does not charge customers for calling an 800 number from which the directory service is offered, but only for requested listings. MCI charges 75 cents for two domestic listings and $3.94 for two international listings.

TRW, Teleglobe form venture

TRW Inc. and Montreal-based Teleglobe Inc. are forming a $2 billion venture to create a personal communications satellite system, although at least one major project is well ahead.

The Odyssey system of 12 satellites, which could be operational by 1999, would provide voice, fax and paging services to subscribers worldwide, said TRW Chairman Joseph T. Gorman.

Washington-based Iridium Corp. plans to have a $3.5 billion network of 66 satellites in orbit by 1998. A spokesman for Iridium, composed of Motorola Inc. and 16 other telecommunications companies, said yesterday the company met its goal of $1.6 billion in equity financing in September.

Lockheed receives $1.3 billion

Lockheed Corp. is getting $1.3 billion from the Air Force so the company can move toward completion of F-16 fighter jets destined for Korea.

The money is being awarded under a foreign military sales transaction initially announced on July 8, 1991. It will allow Lockheed's Fort Worth, Texas, operation to build 12 completed F-16s, and provide another 36 F-16 kits.

B&D Hand puppets recalled

Black & Decker Household Products Group said yesterday that it is recalling about 35,000 hand puppets used as part of a promotion for the company's SurgeXpress irons.

The shar-pei dog hand puppets, which were not manufactured by Black & Decker, were included as gifts with the purchase of the irons.

The company said it was recalling the puppets voluntarily in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission because it discovered the puppet's eyes could detach and pose a potential choking risk to children.

P&G cuts diaper price

Procter & Gamble Co. said yesterday that it would cut the price of its Luvs diapers by an 11 percent, taking action against its lower-priced, private-label competitors. The cuts begin Feb. 13.

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