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Compaq computer corp.'s Altavista Web site will be sold to CMGI Inc. of Andover, Mass., for $2.3 billion, the companies announced. The deal ends months of speculation over the fate of the powerful search engine and its news, stock- quote, and shopping services. Alta Vista hasn't enjoyed the popularity of rivals such as Yahoo!, Excite, and Lycos - ranking 15th among networks of Web sites last month, industry researchers said. CMGI operates a range of online properties.

The possibility of more than $100 million in fines confronted DaimlerChrysler as European Union hearings opened into allegations that the automaker had conspired to keep car-buyers from obtaining the lowest prices on its Mercedes-Benz models. A complaint accuses the German-US company of deliberately imposing restrictions on sales in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and Germany. In that way, customers could not cross into neighboring states to take advantage of price differentials, the complaint says.

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