PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - Jan 15

Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:16am EST

Jan 15 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Dell Inc has held talks recently with buyout firms Silver Lake Partners and TPG about going private as the technology company struggles to find a new course for itself following the end of the personal-computer boom. ()

* United Parcel Service Inc abandoned a nearly $7 billion bid for Dutch parcel-delivery company TNT Express NV after encountering stiff objections to the deal from European antitrust regulators. ()

* Apple Inc has cut its component orders for the iPhone 5 because of weaker-than-expected demand, people familiar with the situation said on Monday, indicating sales of the latest smartphone haven't been as strong as anticipated. ()

* The French government on Monday agreed to pay state-controlled power utility Electricite de France SA 4.9 billion euros ($6.55 billion) to cover subsidies related to green energy and the poor, eliminating a key area of financial uncertainty for investors. ()

* Best known for its playful plastic timepieces, Swatch Group on Monday said it was paying $750 million to buy the swanky Harry Winston brand -- the diamonds that Marilyn Monroe cooed about in the movies. ()

* U.S. regulators hit JPMorgan Chase & Co with four formal enforcement actions targeting lapses in risk-management and money-laundering controls, including the first sanctions in response to the bank's multibillion-dollar 2012 trading debacle. ()

* News Corp has raised its stake in pay-TV company Sky Deutschland AG to 54.5 percent from 49.9 percent, giving a lift to the German broadcaster as it strives to turn a profit this year. ()

* The transportation authority in Chicago accused two of the world's largest airlines, United Continental Holdings Inc and AMR Corp's American Airlines, of dodging a combined $300 million in local taxes since 2005, expanding its allegations that several towns in Illinois are illegally operating as tax havens. ()

* A Canadian judge on Monday acquitted three former Nortel Networks Corp executives of fraud charges, bringing to an end the legal chapter in one of Canada's biggest corporate collapses. ()

* RadioShack Corp said it ended its unprofitable mobile-phone partnership with Target Corp after failing to negotiate more beneficial terms with the discount retailer. ()

* Hemlock Semiconductor Group said on Monday it plans to cut production and lay off 400 employees, or more than a quarter of the workforce at its Michigan and Tennessee factories, amid a dropoff in orders from China. ()

* President Barack Obama, facing a battle over raising the United States' borrowing limit, made clear on Monday that he sees no alternative to Congress voting for an increase and said that not doing so would be "irresponsible" and "absurd." ()

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