News Briefs

FRAMINGHAM (03/10/2000) - Qwest, US West say 'nein' to DTDeutche Telekom broke off negotiations to buy Qwest Communications International Inc. and US West Inc. this week because the two Denver-based acquisition targets said they wanted to complete their own merger before considering Deutche Telekom's overtures. Qwest is in the process of buying US West, and Deutche Telekom was trying to derail that deal and negotiate separately with each. Neither Qwest nor US West would confirm they were negotiating with Deutche Telekom, but Qwest issued a statement announcing "termination of discussions with a major telecom company." US West said it would only consider deals that would "not jeopardize or delay our ability to complete the US West/Qwest transaction."

Cisco, Cap Gemini collaborate

Systems integrator Cap Gemini and Cisco have formed a company to provide consulting, services and technologies to customers migrating their business operations to the Internet. The newly formed company will be a subsidiary in which Cap Gemini will hold a 95.1% stake, and Cisco will hold a 4.9% stake.

Cisco will invest $835 million in the Cap Gemini Group: an investment of $164 million in the new company and a capital investment of $671 million in Cap Gemini. The new entity will be headed by Alexandre Haeffner, currently chairman of Cap Gemini's Telecom & Media unit, and will have a board composed of five representatives of Cap Gemini and one representative from Cisco.

The agreement lets Cisco purchase Cap Gemini's full stake in the new company in case of a takeover bid by one of Cisco's major competitors.

Coming to a theater near you

The days of waiting in a long line to see the latest blockbuster - only to be shut out - may be coming to an end. A half-dozen major movie theater companies this week joined hands to form a company that will let their customers order tickets over the Internet and print them out at home. Participating in the venture are Loews Cineplex Entertainment, Regal Cinemas, Cinemark Theatres, General Cinema Theatres, Edwards Theatres and Century Theatres. The six chains have a total of more than 12,000 screens and collectively sold 600 million tickets last year.

"It is clear that as technology develops and our customers become more accustomed to the convenience of remote ticketing, a growing number of tickets will be sold over the Internet, the telephone and wireless devices," Loews CEO Lawrence Ruisi says.

Novell to shut down NetWare 3.X

Novell will discontinue sales and support of NetWare 3.X in October. Used primarily in small and midsize businesses, about 30% of Novell's users still have NetWare 3.X, Novell says. A study by market research firm IDC shows that one in five NetWare users will replace their servers this year, and of that group only 15% will stay with NetWare. In 1999, Novell sold 1.1 million server licenses, and 35% to 40% of them were for NetWare 5.

AT&T loses wireless chief

The top executive at AT&T's Wireless Services unit, Dan Hesse, has left the company to take over an Internet start-up, just weeks before the unit's stock offering that is expected to raise up to $10 billion. Hesse has signed on with TeraBeam Networks, a wireless data technology start-up. Hesse's departure before the IPO instead of after is "unusual," says Eddie Hold, an analyst at Current Analysis, a research firm in Sterling, Va: "People usually prefer to leave with a little more money in their pockets." AT&T named Mohan Gyani as president and chief executive of AT&T Wireless Services to succeed Hesse.

Sun snaps up Innosoft

Sun announced this week it will buy Innosoft International, a maker of messaging and directory software. However, Innosoft products and personnel will end up at iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions, a joint venture of Sun and America Online.

The acquisition gives iPlanet Innosoft's Lightweight Directory Access Protocol products, which protect network directories, and let programmers write applications that use directory information. Innosoft's Message Transfer Agent, which directs messaging traffic to appropriate servers, is already part of iPlanet's messaging server. Sun didn't reveal details of the transaction.

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