Other items: Record earnings pay off for Weyerhaeuser CEO; Workers in state face more layoffs; and more.

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Alltel and Western Wireless received a request from antitrust enforcers for additional information on the planned $4 billion merger of the mobile-telephone operators.


The companies, in a statement yesterday, didn’t say when they received the Justice Department request or the data the agency wanted. Little Rock, Ark.-based Alltel still expects to complete the acquisition of Bellevue-based Western Wireless by midyear, the companies said.

The government makes so-called second requests to give mergers closer scrutiny and ensure they won’t harm competition.


By acquiring Western Wireless, Alltel, the sixth-largest U.S. wireless phone carrier by subscribers, would gain 1.4 million customers in 19 Western states, providing a toehold in California and a bigger swath of the Midwest.

Weyerhaeuser



Record earnings pay off for CEO

Weyerhaeuser Chief Executive Officer Steven Rogel saw his compensation rise 25 percent to $7.49 million in 2004, when the company’s earnings quadrupled to a record.

Rogel, 62, received a $1.22 million salary, $2 million bonus, $12,475 in other compensation and 200,000 options valued at $4.25 million, Federal Way-based Weyerhaeuser said yesterday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Rogel’s compensation in 2003 was $6 million, including $1.15 million in salary, a $1.5 million bonus and options valued at $3.34 million.


Cingular Wireless


Workers in state face more layoffs

Atlanta-based Cingular Wireless said yesterday that it will lay off as many as 72 more employees in Washington state as part of its merger with AT&T Wireless.

So far, the company has eliminated 497 positions from AT&T Wireless’ former offices, including its Redmond headquarters and Bothell and Seattle locations.


The cuts announced yesterday will affect Redmond and Bothell and include employees from all ranks, a company spokeswoman said. Their last day will be April 29.

Cingular has said it expects to reduce its combined work force of about 68,000 by about 10 percent, or 7,000 employees. AT&T Wireless had about 31,000 employees in the U.S., including 5,700 in Washington.


T-Mobile USA


Subscriber increase strengthens revenue

T-Mobile USA reported revenue in the fourth quarter increased to $3.2 billion from $2.4 billion in the same period a year ago. Revenue in 2004 rose to $11.7 billion from $8.4 billion in 2003.


The Bellevue-based wireless carrier reported its financial results late Wednesday in conjunction with its German parent company, Deutsche Telekom.

T-Mobile saw its sales climb as it added 1 million customers in the fourth quarter and 4.2 million for the year. At year-end, T-Mobile had 17.3 million subscribers.


The company said its average revenue per user also increased, primarily driven by a jump in data-services revenue.

The company’s net loss for the quarter was $329 million.


Compiled from Bloomberg News and Seattle Times staff

Pacific Northwest



Microsoft



Windows engineer departs for Google

Mark Lucovsky, a founding member of the team that created Windows NT, has left Microsoft for Google. Lucovsky, who joined Microsoft in 1988, was one of a rarefied group of employees to be honored with the title “Distinguished Engineer” at the company. Microsoft said Lucovsky left the company Nov. 18, confirming a report yesterday on the Microsoft Watch Web site. Google said yesterday that it has hired Lucovsky, but would not share any details about his role.

Corixa



Venture to seek hepatitis B vaccine

Corixa said yesterday it has agreed to collaborate with Lorantis, a Cambridge, England, company, to develop a therapeutic hepatitis B vaccine.

The experimental treatment will contain Corixa’s RC-529 immune-system-boosting compound and a hepatitis B component owned by Lorantis.


Under the collaboration, Lorantis will do pre-clinical work, and Corixa will be responsible for clinical trials and regulatory applications. The companies will equally split costs and revenues associated with development.

LifeSpan BioSciences



Development deal set for tissue studies

LifeSpan BioSciences, a private Seattle company, said yesterday it has agreed with Pfizer to co-develop an automated system to accurately evaluate tissue samples in animal studies.

The system developed by LifeSpan uses enhanced images and artificial-intelligence-analysis software to judge tissue samples for quality and abnormalities.


Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Nation / World


Bank of America


$460 million deal ends WorldCom suit

Following the lead of Citigroup, Bank of America yesterday became the second large U.S. bank to settle claims stemming from a class-action lawsuit by former shareholders of WorldCom.


The decision by Bank of America to pay $460.5 million to settle the case came as closing arguments were being heard in the criminal trial of WorldCom’s former chief executive, Bernard Ebbers, who is accused of fraud, conspiracy and other charges in what prosecutors allege was an $11 billion accounting fraud at the company.

Last year, Citigroup, the nation’s largest financial institution, paid $2.58 billion to settle its share of the class-action suit.



Apple Computer



Judge rules against 3 online publishers

Apple Computer can force three online publishers to disclose where they got confidential information about new Apple products, a judge tentatively ruled.

Lawyers for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group that seeks to protect civil liberties related to technology, sought the shield order on behalf of the publishers of three Web sites.



SEC



Some firms get year to comply with law

The Securities and Exchange Commission has given smaller U.S. corporations and foreign companies a one-year reprieve from a key part of the anti-fraud law enacted after the series of corporate scandals.

The companies, some of whom had complained about the burden of complying, will get an extra year to meet with the requirement to file reports on the strength of their internal financial controls under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.



Compiled from Seattle Times staff, The Associated Press and Bloomberg News