PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - July 17

July 17 Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:51am EDT

July 17 (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.

* Microsoft Corp plans to announce layoffs on Thursday that will substantially exceed the largest layoffs in the company's history, according to several people briefed on the decision who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. Previously, the largest layoffs were in 2009, when 5,800 or so people were affected. (nyti.ms/1r5aMCV)

* Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox Inc said it has made an $80 billion takeover offer for Time Warner Inc, which would be the biggest media deal in more than a decade. While Time Warner has rebuffed his effort and no talks are underway, Murdoch is determined and unlikely to walk away anytime soon, people briefed on the matter said. (nyti.ms/1nI1try)

* Funding Circle, a so-called peer-to-peer lending network, announced that it had raised $65 million in new funding and appointed Robert Steel, the chief executive of Perella Weinberg, to its board. (nyti.ms/1paKzQi)

* Apple Inc might have to pay $400 million to consumers to settle charges of conspiring with publishers to raise e-book prices. Apple last month agreed to settle a class action brought by attorneys general in 33 states. They had sought hundreds of millions of dollars in damages from Apple, claiming it had colluded with book publishers to inflate e-book prices. (nyti.ms/1oKB3BT)

* Once again, Bank of America's troubled past is clouding its present and future. After months of negotiations, a possible settlement with the Justice Department is in jeopardy over a disagreement on the bank's liability for the suspected mortgage misdeeds of its Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch units, people briefed on the matter said. (nyti.ms/1qJ5Q4K)

* The Federal Reserve's chairwoman, Janet Yellen, said on Wednesday that it would be a "grave mistake" for Congress to adopt legislation proposed by House Republicans constraining the Fed's management of monetary policy. (nyti.ms/1mVyUGi) (Compiled by Arnab Sen in Bangalore)