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OIL COMPANIES TO MERGE: Atlantic Richfield Co. of Los Angeles has agreed to buy Union Texas Petroleum for $3.3-billion in cash and assumed debt, a move to boost oil production and cut costs in parts of the world where the companies have neighboring projects. Arco is paying $29 a share for the Houston oil and gas company, 41 percent more than Friday's $20.50 closing price. Arco will pay $2.47-billion in cash and assume $830-million in debt and preferred stock.

NETSCAPE, EXCITE TEAM: Netscape Communications Corp. has reached a $70-million agreement to make Excite the Internet search engine on Netscape's popular home page. Excite is paying Netscape that amount upfront in exchange for strong visibility on the Web site and a share of revenue from ads placed there. Netscape, which had used Excite's search-engine rivals, also will buy a small stake in Excite, and Excite will be responsible for selling advertising. The two-year deal takes effect June 1. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

AT&T, LYCOS ENTER PACT: AT&T Corp. and Lycos Inc., a provider of Internet navigation software, will team up to offer Internet-based consumer communications services. Financial terms were not disclosed. The three-year agreement is designed to compete with market leaders America Online Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. The companies will offer Lycos users multimedia applications that will combine Web-based technology with traditional communications services. The online service created by the alliance will be called Lycos Online Powered by AT&T WorldNet Service. It will include search and navigation software, free e-mail, shopping, chat and personalized information such as news, sports and entertainment.

FED BOARD MEMBER RESIGNS: Susan M. Phillips is resigning from the Federal Reserve Board, effective at the end of June. Phillips, one of only two board members not chosen by President Clinton, was named to the seven-member board in December 1991 to fill an unexpired 14-year term that ended Jan. 31. In the absence of a successor, she continued to serve after the term expired. Phillips, 53, will become dean of the School of Business and Public Management at George Washington University in Washington.

DANA TO BUY ECHLIN: Dana Corp. of Toledo, Ohio, has agreed to buy Echlin Inc. of Bramford, Conn., for $4.17-billion in stock and assumed debt, topping a $3.5-billion hostile offer from SPX Corp. of Michigan. The merger would combine a major maker of parts for auto manufacturers with one of the industry's leading suppliers of repair parts. Echlin shareholders will receive 0.9293 Dana shares for each Echlin share they own, making the deal worth $55 a share based on Friday's closing prices. The combined company would have annual sales of $13-billion and a market value of about $10-billion.

CITICORP, TRAVELERS PLEDGE LOANS: Citicorp and Travelers Group Inc. promised $115-billion in loans to low- and moderate-income people as part of their proposed $80-billion merger. Funds will be lent for mortgages, small businesses and consumers and for community development, investments and grants. U.S. banks are subject to the Community Reinvestment Act, which requires them to make loans and other financial services available in low- and moderate-income communities. The law was passed to stop "red lining," in which some neighborhoods were cut off from banking services.

NEW NAME FOR HOTEL CHAIN: For the second time in less than a year, the former Holiday Inn Worldwide is changing its name to highlight the company's expansion beyond the world's largest hotel brand. The new name, Bass Hotels & Resorts, replaces Holiday Hospitality, which took the place of Holiday Inn Worldwide in August. The change won't affect the names of the hotels _ Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza. The move is intended to spotlight the name of the company's London-based parent, Bass PLC, to investors and broaden Holiday Inn's image of being a dowdy mid-scale, U.S.-focused franchise operation.

SPRINT, IBM FORM PARTNERSHIP: Sprint Corp. and IBM Corp. have formed a partnership to switch businesses to more advanced networks, in a move by Sprint to take customers from rivals AT&T Corp. and MCI Communications Corp. Sprint is targeting companies that send and receive information over several networks to combine them on Sprint's frame-relay data network. Most of the targeted companies use IBM's system network architecture. Companies use the networks for payroll, inventory control, order entry and other applications. By combining the networks, Sprint estimates customers can cut costs as much as 40 percent.

_ Compiled from Times wire and Bloomberg News reports.

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