Nortel Networks Inc., the telecommunications company beingliquidated in bankruptcy, won court permission to hire a mediatorto try to resolve a dispute over how to wind down its pensionplan.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross in Wilmington, Delaware,approved a 60-day mediation period, during which Nortel, once thelargest telephone equipment maker in North America, must negotiatewith two committees representing retirees and workers who receivedisability payments.

Last month, Gross ordered Nortel into mediation with itsEuropean units in a larger battle over how to split more than $7billion the U.S. and Canadian units have collected by sellingassets, including 6,000 patents to a group led by Apple Inc. andMicrosoft Corp.

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