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FORD JOINS FORCES WITH NAVISTAR

Ford Motor Co. and Navistar International Corp. will form a joint venture to build commercial trucks and may cooperate in producing diesel products for Ford vehicles.

The venture will make medium-duty trucks that will be marketed under both Ford and Navistar's International brands, Ford said in a statement.

The world's second-largest automaker said the trucks will be built at an Escobedo, Mexico, plant owned by Navistar, the largest maker of medium-duty diesel engines. Navistar currently provides Ford with 300,000 diesel engines a year.

Schlumberger acquires Sema

LONDON (AP) -- U.S. energy services company Schlumberger Ltd. is buying the British information technology services concern Sema PLC for $5.2 billion.

The acquisition would help New York-based Schlumberger enlarge its growing systems-integration business, particularly in the development of smart cards, or wallet-sized devices embedded with microchips.

Under the deal, Schlumberger is offering 560 pence ($8.09) in cash for each Sema share, a premium of nearly 18 percent from Friday's close in London.

Schlumberger, which earned $735 million in 2000, is the world's No. 2 oil field services company. It is also involved in wireless telecommunications and utilities. Sema is Europe's second-largest technology services firm behind Cap Gemini, conducting business with financial, telecommunications and energy companies.

Potomac Electric buys Conectiv

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) -- Potomac Electric Power Co., owner of Washington, D.C.'s electric utility, agreed to buy Conectiv, a utility and telecommunications company, for about $4.2 billion in cash, stock, and assumed debt.

Potomac Electric is offering $25 a share in cash or stock, the company said. The offer is 19 percent more than Conectiv's closing price Friday.

Gasoline prices hold steady

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) -- Retail gasoline prices remained steady over the past three weeks despite falling crude oil costs and lower winter demand, an industry analyst said Sunday.

The average price of gas nationwide on Friday was about $1.52 per gallon, down just .07 cents from Jan. 19, according to the Lundberg Survey of 7,500 stations.

The retail price dipped less than a penny per gallon in much of the country. That was offset by slight increases in the Rocky Mountain and Western coastal states, which had seen prices dip in the previous two-week period, industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said.

Gas prices remain nearly 19 cents lower than they were last June, when the average price reached more than $1.71 per gallon.

The national weighted average price of gasoline, including taxes, at self-serve pumps Friday was about $1.49 for regular unleaded, $1.59 for midgrade and $1.68 for premium.

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