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Ericsson, the cellphone giant, was refusing to comment on a published report that it plans to sell its microelectronics business for at least $1 billion amid a year of tumultuous developments. The Financial Times did not identify a likely buyer, but said the Swedish company has hired the investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co. to handle the sale. Ericsson lost $1.2 billion in the first six months and, late last week, announced a shakeup in its management ranks. It also has said it will lay off more than 10,000 employees, outsource handset production, and merge its cellphone operations with Japan's Sony Corp.

Korn/Ferry International said it plans to lay off 500 employees, 20 percent of its workforce, amid slower demand for its services. The Los Angeles-based executive-recruitment company also said it has cut managerial salaries by 10 percent as part of a restructuring plan that aims to reduce annual expenses by $38 million. Korn/Ferry said it will post a loss for the three months ended July 31.

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