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The Hearst Corp. sold the San Francisco Examiner to owners of a free city newspaper at an undisclosed price, clearing the way for Hearst's $660 million purchase of its rival, the San Francisco Chronicle. The deal ends a joint operating agreement between the two papers. It says the more than 600 reporters and editors at both papers will continue working for Hearst Corp.

Bank One Corp., the fourth-largest US bank, is cutting 5,100 jobs in its credit-card, consumer-lending, and staff-services divisions, the Chicago company announced. The cuts represent about 6 percent of its workforce. More than half have been cut since January and the rest will be cut over the next year, a spokesman said.

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Ford Motor Co. has been talking through middlemen with BMW about possibly taking it over, a Hamburg, Germany-based newspaper reported. Welt am Sonntag said Volkswagen and General Motors Corp. also have renewed interest in acquiring the Munich, Germany-based luxury automaker since it decided to get rid of its money-losing British Rover unit. BMW announced last week it will sell the Land Rover division to Ford for $2.91 billion, while British investment group Alchemy Partners has agreed to take over the MG and Rover passenger car divisions.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society