PRESS DIGEST-New York Times business news - Jan 4

Fri Jan 4, 2013 2:18am EST

Jan 4 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday handed Google Inc a major victory by declaring, after an investigation of nearly two years, that the company had not violated antitrust or anti-competition statutes in the way it arranges its Web search results. ()

* Just a few months after announcing a campaign to reduce unemployment, Federal Reserve officials are already debating how soon to stop it, reflecting persistent internal divisions about the effort's value. ()

* Congressional investigators in the United States are wrapping up an inquiry into the accounting practices of Apple Inc and other technology companies that allocate revenue and intellectual property offshore to lower the taxes they pay in the United States. ()

* Automakers on Thursday reported their strongest sales year since 2007, posting solid December results in the United States and promising more growth in 2013. ()

* Transocean Ltd, the driller whose floating Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew out in 2010, causing a massive oil spill, has agreed to settle civil and criminal claims with the U.S. federal government for $1.4 billion, the Justice Department announced Thursday. ()

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has decided not to file insider trading charges against David Sokol, a onetime top lieutenant at Berkshire Hathaway, Sokol's lawyer said Thursday. ()

* Barnes & Noble Inc's Nook unit suffered a 12.6 percent decline in sales compared with the same period a year earlier, a blow to its hopes of building up its digital division to compete with behemoths like Amazon.com. ()

* The Congressional budget deal brokered this week kept tax breaks in place for a variety of industries in the United States, but biodiesel got something even better: a retroactive reinstatement of a dollar-a-gallon credit going back to January 2012, when it lapsed. ()

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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