Mannesmann Rejects Offer From Vodafone

Also, Corning agrees to buy Oak Industries for $1.8 billion.
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The consolidation wave continued to sweep the telecommunications industry this weekend, while deals on various fronts kept U.S. regulators busy.

The race for dominance of Europe's mobile phone industry could erupt in a record bidding war. Germany's

Mannesmann

(MNNSY)

said Sunday it turned down an unsolicited offer from Britain's

Vodafone Airtouch

(VOD) - Get Report

worth $106 billion. (

TSC's

Coming Week in Europe provides some background on the deal.)

Other potential buyers eyeing Mannesmann have included

British Telecommunications

(BTY)

,

Bell Atlantic

(BEL)

,

SBC Communications

(SBC)

and

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

.

Meanwhile, the U.S. high-speed communications industry is about to draw itself a little closer.

Corning

(GLW) - Get Report

, which produces fiber-optic cable, will buy

Oak Industries

(OAK) - Get Report

, which makes fiber-optic equipment, for $1.8 billion in stock.

The only word this weekend from

Danzas

was that there would be no word prior to a planned announcement before the start of trading Monday. The company and its parent, Germany's

Deutsche Post

, declined comment before a news conference set for 1200 GMT (7 a.m. EST) Monday. For several weeks, Danzas has been rumored to be negotiating a $1.4 billion takeover of

Air Express International

(AEIC)

. The deal would create the biggest cargo forwarder in Europe.

Royal Dutch/Shell

will help develop offshore oil fields in Iran, despite the threat of sanctions from the U.S. The deal announced Sunday is worth $800 million.

Elsewhere in the Middle East,

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report

expects its sale of 80 F-16 warplanes to the United Arab Emirates to be signed "in the very near future," a company VP tells

Reuters

. The U.S. has been holding up the $7 billion sale because of the aircrafts' weapons systems.

In the Papers

Bill Gates

won't settle for any settlement in the antitrust case against

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

that limits what new software the company can include in its Windows operating system. He tells

Time

magazine, "We'd love to resolve this thing, and we're going to be pragmatic about it."

The

FCC

and the

Justice Department

say they have not yet taken a stance on the proposed $115 billion merger of MCI WorldCom and

Sprint

(FON)

, following a report in the

Washington Post

Saturday. Unnamed sources told the newspaper regulators were unlikely to approve the deal, which would be the largest in corporate history.

The latest issue of

Barron's

examines

Globalstar

(GSTRF)

, which hopes to succeed in the satellite-communications business with the launch of its 48-satellite system and with lessons learned from the failure of its rivals.

Here's something different: an Internet company with strong sales growth and a weak stock price. It's no contradiction, and the company,

National Data Corp.

(NDC)

, is featured in

Barron's

. Reasons cited for its slump include lower-than-expected earnings, compounded by CEO Robert Yellowlees' remarks blaming Wall Street's expectations.

Barron's

also features an interview with Scott Merlis, a managing director at

Wasserstein Perella Securities

who studies the auto industry. He forecasts another strong year for U.S. automakers. Hence, his stock picks:

Ford

(F) - Get Report

,

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

,

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

,

Borg-Warner Automotive

(BWA) - Get Report

,

CTS

(CTS) - Get Report

,

Dana

(DCN)

,

Delphi Automotive Systems

(DPH)

and

TRW

(TRW)

.

Air France

tells

Reuters

it is not negotiating to buy a stake in

Richard Branson's

Virgin Atlantic

. The airline denied a report in the

Sunday Times

of London that it was in talks to bring Virgin into its partnership with

Delta Air Lines

(DAL) - Get Report

.

David Rheingold is a New York-based freelance writer. At the time of publication he had no positions in any of the securities mentioned, although holdings can change at any time.