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IBM cuts 2,800 jobs

The closing of a manufacturing plant in Hungary accounts for most of the layoffs, but 500 cuts are the result of Big Blue's buyout of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

IBM is cutting 2,800 positions in its hard drive and Global Services businesses, the technology giant confirmed Tuesday.

Most of the cuts are the result of the closing of a hard drive manufacturing plant in Szekesfehervar, Hungary, a company representative said.

"The closure was the result of a decline in demand for hard drives and should not affect our agreement with Hitachi," the representative said.

Hitachi is acquiring most of IBM's hard drive business. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

About 500 people in the Global Services division are also being let go, as Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM is looking to reduce job duplication as the result of its acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers' consulting arm for an estimated $3.5 billion.

At the end of 2001, IBM employed about 320,000 people worldwide. Big Blue has taken on about 30,000 PricewaterhouseCoopers employees as a result of the acquisition. IBM is continuing to hire in its Global Services division and has brought on 5,500 employees.

The company was in the process Tuesday of notifying employees of the layoffs.