The late ticker

Microsoft move

MICROSOFT has completed its acquisition of WebTV Networks Inc for $425m (pounds 260m) after approval by the US Justice Department. This allows Microsoft to expand into TV-based Internet devices and to continue its dominance of the software. WebTV produces systems to browse through the Internet on TV using a remote control and set-top box.

GE contenders

US company General Electric shuffled some top managers in a move that renewed speculation about who will succeed its chief executive John Welch when he retires in 2000. James McNerney, 47, steps up to become head of GE's aircraft engines unit.

David Calhoun, 40, the head of GE's transportation systems business, replaces Mr McNerney as head of GE Lighting.

Fashion victim

THE upmarket New York fashion retailer Barney's, which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings since last year, received court approval to delay until tomorrow the deadline for selecting a buyer for the stores so that it can negotiate a higher bid. This is the second time Barney's has delayed choosing a buyer. Hong Kong-based Dickson Concepts, which owns Harvey Nichols, is said to have bid $240m for the company. Other bidders are Texas Pacific and Heico Acquisitions, controlled by Chicago financier Michael Heisley.

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