PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - July 18

July 18 Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:13am EDT

July 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.

* Microsoft Corp said on Thursday that it was laying off up to 18,000 employees, in an attempt at reinvigoration. The cuts are the first major change made by Satya Nadella, the company's new chief executive, who said Microsoft needed to be more nimble and focused. (

* The biggest deal of the year is set to be announced on Friday morning, as the pharmaceutical giant AbbVie Inc plans to announce a $53 billion acquisition of Shire Plc , according to people briefed on the matter. (

* China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (IPO-BABA.N) has decided that it is not worth sprinting toward its long-awaited initial public offering ahead of the unofficial late-summer market slowdown. The company will instead price its offering sometime after Labor Day, people with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday. (

* General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra, who appeared before senators during the Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing on Thursday, said the company will not expand its compensation program for victims and will not waive its protection from lawsuits gained in bankruptcy reorganization. She also said that the company will not dismiss the company's general counsel, Michael Millikin, despite several senators' calls to do so. (

* FedEx Corp, the world's second-largest package-delivery company, was indicted Thursday in connection with a Justice Department investigation into illegal pharmaceutical shipments, according to a person with knowledge of the government's long-running investigation. (

* Fiat SpA denied a report on Thursday that it was in merger talks with its German rival Volkswagen AG, deflating speculation that caused a brief furor on stock markets even though analysts dismissed a deal as implausible. ( (Compiled by Arnab Sen in Bangalore)

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