PRESS DIGEST-New York Times business news - Dec 19

Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:29am EST

Dec 19 - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The Federal Trade Commission is unlikely to finish until January its investigation into whether Google Inc abused its power in the search market, people briefed on the investigation said. ()

* Facebook Inc responded to the anger over the proposed Instagram changes. Kevin Systrom, a co-founder of Instagram, wrote a blog post saying the company would change the new terms of service to make clearer what would happen to users' pictures. ()

* Nielsen Holdings NV said that it had agreed to acquire Arbitron Inc, the radio ratings company, for $1.26 billion. ()

* Penguin, trying to ensure a clean slate before its planned merger with Random House, announced that it was settling a lawsuit brought by the Justice Department over the pricing of e-books. ()

* Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management said that it would immediately sell its controlling stake in Freedom Group, the gun maker that made the rifle used in the Connecticut school shootings. ()

* Jefferies Group Inc said that it earned about $71.6 million in profit for the fourth quarter, up 48 percent from the same time a year ago as its core businesses showed marked improvement. ()

* House Republican leaders struggled to rally their colleagues around a backup measure to ease the sting of a looming fiscal crisis by allowing tax rates to rise only on incomes over $1 million. ()

* The Federal Trade Commission said that it had opened an inquiry into the practices of nine companies that collect and resell or analyze consumer data. ()

* Seven weeks after Hurricane Sandy dumped an estimated 500 million gallons of water in Hoboken, crippling its transportation network and leaving tens of thousands of commuters casting about for alternative modes of travel, officials said that PATH train service was at last set to resume. ()

* Joseph Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York, has informed the Cuomo administration that he is stepping down from his position, according to four people with direct knowledge of his plans. He is expected to resign on Friday, allowing him to pursue a candidacy for New York City mayor as a Republican. ()

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