PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - July 16

July 16 Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:50am EDT

July 16 (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.

* General Motors Co's response to the car crash that killed Gene Erickson, as well as its replies to queries in other crashes obtained by The New York Times from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, casts doubt on how forthright the automaker was with regulators over a defective ignition switch that GM has linked to at least 13 deaths over the last decade.(nyti.ms/W8X0DK)

* As part of its effort to improve working conditions for its youngest employees in its global corporate and investment banking unit, Bank of America Corp has hired more junior bankers, the latest sign of a shifting corporate culture on Wall Street. The incoming class of full-time analysts and associates, who start work later this month, will be almost 40 percent larger than last year's class. (nyti.ms/Wgv01u)

* News on Tuesday that Reynolds American had agreed to buy Lorillard Inc for $27.4 billion, uniting two of the nation's biggest tobacco companies, highlighted how important e-cigarettes have become to the declining tobacco industry. Both Reynolds and Lorillard have pushed hard into e-cigarettes, which offer a new way of delivering a puff of nicotine. (nyti.ms/1mfRFjw)

* Ralph Whitworth, a longtime activist investor with a large stake in Hewlett-Packard Co, has resigned as interim chairman of the computer company's board and will take a leave of absence from his investment firm, Relational Investors, HP announced on Tuesday. (nyti.ms/1tPEdfW)

* In a deal that could deepen Apple Inc's sales to corporations and strengthen International Business Machine's position in business software, the two companies announced a wide-ranging partnership intended to spread advanced mobile and data analysis technology in the corporate world. (nyti.ms/1p49C7B)

* As of Tuesday, there were about 780,000 comments on the Federal Communications Commission's proposed so-called net neutrality rules, which guide how Internet service providers (ISPs) manage web traffic on their networks, far more than for any previous rule-making proceeding before the regulator. The agency is fine-tuning its rules to secure an open Internet, after a federal-court decision in January said it had to rethink its approach. (nyti.ms/1oGHdmq) (Compiled by Arnab Sen in Bangalore)