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Zurich Scudder Investments Inc. will be sold for $2.5 billion to Germany's giant Deutsche Bank, the companies announced. The former, a US-based subsidiary of Switzerland's Zurich Financial Services, has a reported $300 billion in assets under management. The deal also calls for Deutsche Bank to transfer 76 percent control of its VHDB banking subsidiary and its insurance business in Italy, Spain, and Portugal to Zurich Financial Services.

VeriSign Inc., an Internet domain registrar and security services group, will acquire Illuminet Holdings, which provides network services to telecommunications carriers, for $1.2 billion in stock, The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times reported. The companies said the deal, expected to close in the first quarter of next year, would help them prepare for the anticipated linking of voice and Internet protocol networks. VeriSign is based in Mountain View, Calif.; Illuminet in Lacey, Wash.

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Already troubled Swissair Group announced another round of layoffs amid the spreading slump in commercial aviation. The carrier said it is cutting 3,000 jobs in its in-flight catering unit, most of them in North America. Further layoffs likely will follow discussions with union negotiators, a statement said. Among other moves, Swissair planned a 25 percent reduction in its long-haul fleet and a revamping of overall operations. Last month, 1,200 employees lost their jobs, and the company put its duty-free shops and ground-service subsidiary up for sale.