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Mediaone group accepted a $58 billion takeover bid from AT&T, giving its other suitor, Comcast Corp., five days to respond with a counteroffer, sources familiar with the situation said. MediaOne, the No. 3 US cable television company, agreed in March to be acquired by Comcast for about $48.2 billion in stock. AT&T, however, recently topped that with its richer cash and stock offer.

A two-month hostile-takeover bid ended on friendly terms with the $1 billion purchase of San Jose, Calif.-based VLSI Technology by the Dutch company Royal Philips Electronics. VLSI, a maker of computer chips, had rejected an initial offer as inadequate. Royal Philips then sued to try to block VLSI from using the so-called "poison pill" defense to make its shares prohibitively expensive.

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US manufacturing expanded for the third consecutive month in April, but growth was not as robust as in March, a new survey indicated. The National Association of Purchasing Management said its monthly index fell to 52.8 percent, down 1.5 percentage points from its March level.

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