PRESS DIGEST-New York Times business news - Dec 20

Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:27am EST

Dec 20 - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The United States Patent and Trademark Office has dealt a blow to Apple Inc in its legal battle with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd over smartphone patents, declaring that a patent that helped Apple win $1.05 billion in damages against Samsung in a jury trial should not have been granted. ()

* UBS AG announced it would plead guilty to one count of felony wire fraud as part of a broader settlement. ()

* The owner of the venerable New York Stock Exchange is in talks to be acquired by an upstart commodities and derivatives trading platform IntercontinentalExchange, according to people briefed on the matter. The IntercontinentalExchange is expected to offer about $33 a share, with two-thirds of that in stock, one of these people said. ()

* Nearly four years after what became a $49.5 billion bailout, the Treasury Department announced that it would sell 200 million shares back to General Motors Co for $5.5 billion, then sell an additional 300 million shares by early 2014. ()

* Knight Capital Group Inc, the stock market-making firm that nearly collapsed last summer after a $440 million trading glitch, has reached an agreement to merge with Getco, the Chicago-based high-speed trading firm. ()

* On Wednesday, the sale of digital imaging patents was finally announced, but instead of bringing as much as $2.6 billion as Eastman Kodak Co once predicted, the selling price was far short of that amount, at about $525 million. ()

* The Markel Corp, a specialty insurer, said it had agreed to acquire a rival, Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd , for $3.13 billion. ()

* Ally Financial Inc, formerly General Motors Acceptance Corporation, said that it had repaid the last of the debt it had borrowed in response to the financial crisis under a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation program. ()

* American Electric Power Company Inc announced that it would shut its coal-burning boilers at the Big Sandy electric power plant near Louisa, Kentucky, a 1,100-megawatt facility that since the early 1960s has been burning coal that was mined locally. ()

* Lax leadership hampered by "rigid management chains" left the British Broadcasting Corp "completely incapable" of dealing with the sexual abuse crisis that has shaken the network, in the words of an exhaustive report released. ()

* In a move intended to give parents greater control over data collected about their children online, federal regulators broadened longstanding privacy safeguards covering children's mobile apps and websites. ()

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