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Delta Air Lines has withdrawn the surcharge it imposed this month in an effort to encourage people to book their tickets on its Internet site.

Spokeswoman Kay Horner cited competitive reasons for the removal of the 2-week-old fee, which added $2 on domestic round-trip tickets booked anywhere except through its Web site.

"The market spoke -- and we responded," she said Tuesday, declining further comment.

The American Society of Travel Agents had criticized Delta's surcharge, saying it discriminated against people who preferred travel agents or didn't have ready access to the Internet.

"I think it's a clear victory for consumers," James Ashurst, a spokesman for the group, said Tuesday. "I think the traveling public has spoken volumes."

Delta had claimed the surcharge was forced by soaring costs of traditional booking methods.

J. Peterman gets $1.9 million loan

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- The J. Peterman Co., the upscale retailer parodied on "Seinfeld," will be allowed to operate through Feb. 12 under a $1.96 million loan from a primary creditor.

Lawyers for J. Peterman sealed the deal Tuesday, a day after filing for U.S. Bankruptcy Court protection.

Under motions granted by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge William Howard, the company will be able to pay its approximately 500 employees, pay $235,000 owed to United Parcel Service and process returned and exchanged merchandise. that has been backing up since the holidays.

J. Peterman, which earned notoriety as the target of satire on the top-rated television comedy, filed Monday for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which enables a company to keep operating under a court's supervision while it develops a plan for returning to solvency.

Founder John Peterman listed assets of $35 million and liabilities of $40 million.

Burlington to eliminate 2,900 jobs

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- Textile manufacturer Burlington Industries Inc. is cutting 2,900 jobs, or 17 percent of its work force, and closing seven plants in an effort to streamline its apparel fabrics business.

Company officials blamed the decision to reduce capacity on the surge of low-priced garment imports, primarily from Asia.

Five of the plants are in North Carolina while the others are in South Carolina and Virginia. Burlington has 29 plants overall and employs 17,400 people.

Avery Dennison cutting 1,500 jobs

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Label and office products maker Avery Dennison Corp. is eliminating 1,500 jobs, or 9.3 percent of its work force, and is closing eight facilities in a bid to cut costs and boost profits.

Avery Dennison makes peel-and-stick postage stamps, automated retail tag and labeling systems and specialty tapes and chemicals.

It is closing an office products plant in Rochelle, Ill., and a materials plant in Germany, said spokesman Charles Coleman.

Coleman said the five other facilities being closed have not been identified or announced.

In other business news

3M Co. is closing its manufacturing plant in West Deptford, N.J., and moving production operations from that plant to southern Minnesota. The facility makes electrical crimp terminals, cable ties and wire identification products for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing's electrical products division and construction and home improvement markets division. It employs 94 people.

After 50 years, General Motors officially retired America's longest continuous car brand. A shiny black Oldsmobile 88 joined other models Tuesday at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum. The division will concentrate on its Aurora and Intrigue brands, said brand manager Tom Jarvis.

Richard Lindsey, director of market regulation at the Securities and Exchange Commission, is leaving the government to join a major Wall Street firm. Lindsey, 44, will leave in March to become a senior managing director of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., the SEC announced Tuesday. The agency hasn't yet named a successor.

Warner-Lambert Co. agreed Tuesday to a $2.1 billion stock deal to buy Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc., giving the company control of Agouron's wildly successful AIDS product.

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