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EC weighs retaliatory sanctionsThe European Community is...

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EC weighs retaliatory sanctions

The European Community is considering returning fire in a possible trade war with the United States.

The EC might retaliate against the U.S. for its decision Thursday to bar the awarding of $19 million in government contracts to European companies, officials said yesterday. The 12-nation trading bloc was considering slapping its own sanctions, worth roughly $15 million, on American firms doing business in Europe, the officials said.

Allstate readies biggest U.S. IPO

Allstate Corp. is expected to raise about $2 billion next week in the biggest initial public offering ever by a U.S issuer. Allstate's shares are expected to be priced in the "middle of next week," said a spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs & Co., leader of the underwriting group.

Allstate, a subsidiary of Sears, Roebuck and Co., is expected to sell 78.5 million shares at $24 to $27 each, according to its preliminary prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

IBM offering raises $1.1 billion

IBM raised $1.1 billion in one of the biggest preferred stock offerings in Wall Street history. The computer company sold 44 million shares of the stock, which pays a fixed dividend of 7.5 percent, at $25 each yesterday. IBM can redeem the shares after eight years.

Court penalizes USX $630 million

USX Corp. must pay a $630 million judgment in an antitrust case brought by steelmakers against the company's former subsidiary, the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad Co., a federal court ruled yesterday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia upheld a lower federal court decision in February 1991 that found the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad conspired over the decades to monopolize the docks in lower Lake Erie ports and fix prices charged for transporting and unloading iron ore. A spokesman for USX said the ruling will be appealed.

USAir fires 2 pilots, attendant

USAir said yesterday that it fired two pilots and a flight attendant for safety violations because the attendant reportedly sat in the captain's seat during a flight from Florida to Philadelphia last month.

The chairman of USAir Group Inc., the airline's parent company, said the captain, first officer and the off-duty flight attendant involved in the incident were terminated. None were identified.

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