UNITED, DELTA LINK: United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have reached a tentative agreement to link their route systems in a combination that would control more than a third of seats on U.S. carriers. The alliance would connect the carriers' frequent flier programs and permit the selling of seats on each other's planes. The deal must be approved by both carriers' pilot unions. The Justice Department will examine the pact, along with a wave of alliances announced recently by other carriers, for the potential impact on consumers.
COLUMBIA RECORDS SEIZED: Federal and state officials seized Medicaid billing records from Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.'s Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Nevada is one of 11 states, including Florida, looking into Columbia's billing of the Medicaid program for the poor. The Nashville, Tenn., hospital chain also is being investigated by federal officials on behalf of the Medicare program, which provides health coverage for the elderly.
DISNEY BUYS REST OF STARWAVE: Walt Disney Co. bought the remaining two-third stake in billionaire Paul Allen's Starwave Corp. that it didn't already own, as it seeks to bolster its Internet offerings. Terms of the transaction weren't disclosed. A year ago, Disney bought a one-third stake in the Internet site designer for an estimated $90-million. Starwave and two joint ventures with Disney, ABCnews.com and ESPN SportsZone, will become part of Disney's Buena Vista Internet Group.
SUNBEAM MOVING TO BOCA: Sunbeam Corp. is moving its headquarters from Delray Beach to Boca Raton. The company signed a 15-year lease for nearly 150,000 square feet of office space. It has been looking for more room to consolidate operations from three companies bought in March: Coleman, Signature Brands USA and First Alert. Chairman Al Dunlap expects to expand Sunbeam's 110-person headquarters staff to 250.
PAX NET DISTRIBUTION DEAL: Paxson Communications Corp. has struck a deal with cable giant TCI's subsidiary Satellite Services Inc. to distribute PAX NET family entertainment network. The agreement would permit PAX NET's distribution to any TCI cable household in a market not served by Paxson's broadcast television operation. Paxson, of West Palm Beach, anticipates similar agreements with other cable systems for distribution of PAX NET, which debuts Aug. 31.
_ Compiled from Times staff, wire and Bloomberg News reports.