PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Feb 18

Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:48am EST

Feb 18 (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 Southwest Chief route, a lifeline to rural communities, is in danger if Amtrak cannot persuade three of the states it runs through to help fund track repairs and maintenance. ()

* After months of hype and hysteria that have driven up its price at a dizzying pace, Bitcoin recently encountered several hurdles that are likely to determine whether it makes it out of its early speculative phase to become a currency that people actually use, is supplanted by a rival or falls apart altogether. ()

* A group of investors led by an affiliate of Maurice Greenberg and the Swiss investment firm Partners Group announced on Monday that it had acquired MultiPlan. ()

* With Comcast Corp proposing to buy Time Warner Cable Inc, other companies that own cable networks are watching nervously, and may look to consolidate. ()

* Tom Steyer, a retired hedge fund manager, plans to spend as much as $100 million this year on a hard-edge campaign to pressure officials and candidates to support climate change measures. ()

* With their party on offense in its push to capture the Senate, Republicans say they are determined to avoid the mistakes and stumbles that Democrats exploited in 2010 and 2012.