Fast Breaks Newsfront: September 17, 2001

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-09-17


Apparently emboldened by a Department of Justice thats more tolerant of dominant technology companies, AOL Time Warner is taking a serious run at AT&T Broadband, the nations largest cable operator. Industry insiders said AOL could be pursuing a merger/spin-off of its own Time Warner Entertainment cable unit and AT&T Broadband, which would create a giant with more than 25 million subscribers.

Filings Delayed

The U.S. District Court judge overseeing the Microsoft antitrust case extended a Sept. 14 deadline for the company and the Department of Justice to submit status reports in the case until noon on Sept. 18. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is still scheduled to begin hearings Sept. 21 to decide how Microsoft should be punished for its anticompetitive conduct.

Big Buyback

Cisco Systems board has approved a $3 billion stock repurchase program. The shares will be bought back over two years, starting today, when markets reopen for trading.

Oracle Net Beats Expectations

Oracle reported that profits of $511 million, or 9 cents per share, narrowly beat analyst estimates, but its fiscal first-quarter revenue dropped slightly from a year ago. While Oracle postponed a conference call on its earnings, Chairman Larry Ellison said the report was meant to show the companys determination "not to be bowed by despicable acts of terrorism."

Excite Sells Blue Mountain

Financially struggling Excite@Home sacrificed its costly greeting card unit in a bid to remain afloat. American Greetings will pay $35 million in cash for BlueMountain, for which Excite paid $780 million during the dot-com boom.

Rocket Fuel