Compaq Computer Corp. announced it would commit more than $1 billion this year to developing online service providers. The company's chairman and chief executive, Michael Capellas, said he's looking to catch some of the projected explosive growth in the field - that is, companies including Internet service providers as well as application service providers, which provide software over the Web. The Houston-based firm said it will earmark $600 million for financing programs, $400 for equity investments, and $150 million for marketing assistance.
A bidding war for Cyanamid, the plant-protection unit of American Home Products Corp., was won by German conglomerate BASF. The deal, valued at $3.8 billion, will make BASF the world's fourth-largest agricultural chemicals company. Cyanamid produces pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, but American Home Products had been trying to sell it to focus on its more profitable drug business. BASF's competitors for the acquisition were DuPont Co. of the US and Germany's Bayer AG.
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