Walter ousted as NITC presidentThe National Information...


Walter ousted as NITC president

The National Information Technology Center, a troubled economic development group funded by the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development, announced yesterday that Michael Walter is out as president of the Rockville-based organization.

In what it described as a "joint press release," the center said Mr. Walter is leaving to "pursue other opportunities." Mr. Walter's ouster has been widely expected since October, when the board placed him on leave and dismissed all but one member of his staff because of its dissatisfaction with how the center was being managed.

Fraud costs Litton $3.9 million

Litton Industries Inc. pleaded guilty to three criminal charges and agreed to pay $3.9 million, ending the final case in a five-year government effort to stem corruption in the defense industry, the Justice Department said yesterday.

Litton's plea before U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton was the 64th conviction -- the 10th against a major defense contractor -- to result from "Operation Ill Wind," which included the use of wiretaps and search warrants to gather evidence against corporate executives, military officials, industry consultants and corporations.

Litton had been charged with wire fraud, conversion of sensitive defense procurement documents and defrauding the government.

Tokyo Nissan to sell Fords

A sales arm of Nissan Motor Co., Japan's No. 2 automaker, said yesterday that it would begin selling cars imported from Ford Motor Co. this spring.

Tokyo Nissan Auto Sales Co. will begin selling Fords by May, said spokesman Atsushi Horigome.

Ford sold 44,000 vehicles in Japan last year, mostly through showrooms run with Mazda Motor Corp.

Back to court for Paramount

The takeover battle for Paramount Communications Inc. is headed back to the Delaware courts, according to a QVC Network Inc. adviser.

QVC likely will initiate the protracted takeover battle's second court action Monday to block a $9.7 billion joint bid made Jan. 7 for Paramount by Viacom Inc. and Blockbuster Entertainment Corp., the adviser said.

"The new Viacom offer is inferior to ours, and therefore the auction process is over and we don't have to extend our tender offer," the adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Bloomberg Business News.

U.S. deal for Dutch publisher

Dutch publisher VNU said yesterday that it agreed to buy the owner of Billboard magazine and the Hollywood Reporter for $220 million.

BPI Communications LP, owned by New York Times Co. and Boston Ventures, booked sales of $130 million last year and employs 800, VNU said.

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