Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Business digest


Chase-Bank One merger can go ahead

Staff/Wire reports

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve cleared the way Monday for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to combine with and absorb Chicago-based Bank One Corp., forming the nation's second-largest bank with more than $1 trillion in assets.

The Fed voted 6-0 to approve the megamerger.

The $58 billion deal will erase about 10,000 jobs by 2006 and the Bank One name sooner, in one of a series of consolidations in the financial services industry.

Doctors stand firm on drug 'freebie' policy

CHICAGO - The American Medical Association rejected a proposal Monday that would have softened the group's stance against drug industry "freebies," including paying for doctors' trips to industry-sponsored educational conferences.

Peter Lavine, a Washington, D.C., orthopedic surgeon who offered the proposal at the annual meeting, argued that doctors deserve to be compensated for attending such conferences, where they often learn crucial information.

It doesn't make sense to allow money for tuition "but not hotels," he said. "The policy is a mess."

Disabled fliers lose effort to force changes

MIAMI - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by disabled fliers seeking better access to 10 airlines, ruling that $3.2 billion in bailout money paid to the carriers after the 2001 terrorist attacks did not subject them to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Disabled passengers are not protected by the 2001 federal disabilities law, but the passengers maintained that airlines' acceptance of federal money expanded the scope of earlier laws to the carriers.

Adelphia looking for help in arranging sale

Adelphia Communications Corp. is working to hire investment bankers to help the bankrupt U.S. cable-television operator arrange a sale of the company, president Ron Cooper said.

In April, the company said it may seek a buyer after creditors and bondholders voiced opposition to a reorganization plan that would allow it to stay independent.

Apple's iTunes expands to Europen market

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Napster and other rivals in the fast-moving market of online music are bracing for Apple Computer Inc.'s expected European launch today of its iTunes Music Store.

So far, iTunes holds the commanding lead in the United States with more than 70 million songs sold.




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