PRESS DIGEST-New York Times business news - Dec 18

Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:33am EST

Dec 18 - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages on Tuesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Massachusetts's top financial authority fined Morgan Stanley $5 million for violating securities laws, the first major regulatory action tied to Facebook Inc's initial public stock offering. ()

* Google Inc seems on its way to coming through a major antitrust investigation in the United States essentially unscathed. But the outlook is not as bright for Google here, as the European Union's top antitrust regulator prepares to meet with Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman. ()

* General Electric Co is expected to strike a deal to buy the Italian aerospace company Avio for $4 billion or more, in a bid to bolster its commercial jet engine business. ()

* Sprint Nextel Corp agreed to buy all of the wireless network operator Clearwire Corp, an important step for the cellphone service provider as it continues its big turnaround campaign. ()

* Banco Santander SA said it would absorb Banesto, its main domestic subsidiary and once one of Spain's leading banks, as part of a plan to cut 700 branches, or about 15 percent of its retail network. ()

* Instagram released an updated version of its privacy policy and terms of service, which include lengthy stipulations on how photographs uploaded by users may be used by Instagram and its parent company, Facebook Inc. The changes, which will go into effect Jan. 16, will not apply to pictures shared before that date. ()

* Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found. It used bribes to circumvent regulatory safeguards that protect Mexican citizens from unsafe construction. ()

* Lockheed Martin Corp expects to earn a profit in the high single digits under a new contract signed last week for the fifth batch of its radar-evading F-35 fighter planes, company officials said. ()

* The hedge fund Elliott Management Corp offered to buy Compuware Corp, a business software maker, for about $2.3 billion, repeating a tactic that prompted the sale of Novell in late 2010. ()

* Sun Life Financial Inc, Canada's third-largest life insurance company, announced a deal to sell its annuity and some life insurance businesses in the United States for $1.35 billion. ()

* President Obama delivered to Speaker John Boehner a new offer to resolve the pending fiscal crisis, a deal that would raise revenue by $1.2 trillion over the next decade but keep in place the Bush-era tax rates for any household with earnings below $400,000. ()

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