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BUSINESS TODAY

GIANT STEPS FORWARD: After an eight-year absence, the Jolly Green Giant will return to Green Giant ads and will "Ho Ho Ho" on its Web site. The $20-million brand awareness effort uses lines like: "Give peas a chance."

DATA STORAGE COMPANIES TO

COMBINE: EMC Corp., the largest U.S. maker of data storage equipment for computers, has agreed to acquire Data General Corp. for $1.1-billion in stock. EMC of Hopkinton, Mass., said it will pay 0.3262 of a share for each share of Data General, valuing the Westborough, Mass., company at $19.58 per share _ a 48 percent premium to its closing stock price Friday. Data General makes servers and mass storage systems for corporate computer networks.

CISCO TO INVEST IN KPMG: Cisco Systems, a leading maker of computer networking equipment, will invest $1-billion in KPMG LLP to aid the accounting and consulting firm's Internet expansion. KPMG will use the money to hire 4,000 employees to develop and deliver Internet-based data, voice and video services to its clients and will build six technology centers in the next 18 months. In return, San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco will own nearly 20 percent in KPMG, the U.S. unit of privately held KPMG International, No. 3 among the big five accounting firms.

NBC TO MARKET NET2PHONE: Shares of Net2Phone Inc., which allows consumers to make inexpensive phone calls from the Internet, surged 23 percent after NBC, Snap.Com and CNET Inc. took a stake in the company and said they would market its service on their Web sites. Terms were not disclosed. Net2Phone shares rose $3.87{ to $20.37{, raising the company's market value to $968-million. Analysts say the pact will help Net2Phone outpace its rivals in the voice-to-PC market.

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