P. M. BRIEFING : Pentagon to Seek Scrutiny of Takeover of High-Tech Firms

From Times Wire Services

A report being prepared for the Pentagon will urge the government to tighten its watch on foreign takeovers of U.S. high-tech firms and perhaps provide help for companies critical to national security, industry officials said today.

The officials said a panel of 15 experts from business, government and universities had tentatively approved the draft of a study this week encouraging specialized microchip and other U.S. industries to remain in American hands.

The final report will be sent to Defense Secretary Dick Cheney this summer.

"It (the study) notes that complete self-sufficiency in such areas as microchips is impractical today, but says we should make sure foreign restraints don't hamstring U.S. industry in critical areas," said one official.

The officials confirmed today's New York Times report that the study is being prepared by the Defense Science Board Task Force on Foreign Ownership and Control on U.S. industry.

The panel, headed by Apple Computer Corp. Vice President Deborah Coleman, recommended that the government as a last resort should try to save weak firms by helping U.S. mergers, providing refinancing or taking other steps before such firms are put on the international market.

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