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Procter & Gamble, the maker of Tide detergent and Crest toothpaste, said today it has abandoned negotiations to acquire two major drug makers, Warner-Lambert and American Home Products.

Procter & Gamble, eager to increase its presence in the pharmaceutical market, had considered acquiring the companies. However, P&G faced a powerful opponent in Pfizer, which has already made a hostile bid for Warner- Lambert.

Warner-Lamber, maker of the popular cholesterol-fighter Lipitor, has been looking for a white-knight to fend off Pfizer's bid.

In addition to Lipitor, Warner-Lambert makes a host of consumer goods that would have fit nicely under P&G's umbrella, including Certs breath mints, Trident gum, Listerine mouthwash, and Schick razors.

American Home Products makes Premarin, a hormone replacement drug, and over-the-counter aids like Advil.

AT&T to thin executive ranks

NEW YORK (AP) -- AT&T Corp. reportedly plans to cut as much as 25 percent of its executive work force as part of a drive to reduce its costs by $2 billion by the end of this year.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified sources, reported today the cutbacks are likely to include the elimination of hundreds, if not thousands, of positions.

AT&T says no final goal for job reductions has been determined, the report said.

Chairman C. Michael Armstrong has been pressing for the cuts in AT&T's executive ranks to make certain that the cost-cutting hits all levels of the company, the Journal said. The cuts are hitting AT&T's slow-growing business and consumer long distance units the hardest. But faster-growing units, including its wireless-phone business, are operating under a hiring freeze.

DaimlerChrysler plans to own bank

BERLIN (AP) -- The German-American automaker DaimlerChrysler is planning to get into the banking business, according to a newspaper report.

Klaus Mangold, who heads the company's financial services subsidiary Debis, told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that there are plans in the works for a bank, but declined to reveal any details. Mangold said the company was also planning to branch out soon into the life insurance business.

UAW, Delphi reach tentative pact

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) -- Hourly workers at a Delphi Automotive Systems brake plant are to vote Tuesday on whether to ratify a proposed four-year contract.

Bargainers for the former General Motors Corp. parts-making division and United Auto Workers Local 467 reached agreement on the tentative deal Thursday night, four months after the old, three-year contract expired. The contract covers work at the Delphi Energy & Chassis Systems' Saginaw Operations. The plant makes anti-lock brakes.

The union had filed grievances over outsourcing of skilled work and expressed concern about Delphi sending production work out of the plant.

Under the deal, Delphi would pay $1,000 to each of Local 467's approximately 1,525 members if it violates provisions against outsourcing. The tentative contract also calls for adding 100 production workers and 40 to 50 skilled workers over the next four years.

Mannesmann plans to buy Energis

LONDON (AP) -- If Mannesmann AG, the German telecommunications company, is able to fend off a hostile bid by Vodafone AirTouch PLC, it plans to buy the British telecommunications group Energis, the Sunday Times reported.

The paper said the deal would be worth $19.7 billion.

This week in business

Here are the major business and economic events scheduled for this week:

Tuesday -- The National Association of Realtors will report existing homes sales for December, and the Conference Board will release its report on consumer confidence.

Wednesday -- The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Alan Greenspan to a fourth term as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

Thursday -- The Labor Department will report weekly jobless claims and its fourth-quarter employment cost index, and the Commerce Department will release its report on durable goods orders for December.

Friday -- The Commerce Department will report gross domestic product for the fourth quarter.

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