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May 2 (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.
* Seattle Mayor Ed Murray presented on Thursday what he described as an imperfect but workable plan to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour, more than twice the federal minimum wage and one of the highest anywhere in the nation, through a series of complex and phased-in stages. (r.reuters.com/qej98v)
* The White House, hoping to move the national debate over privacy beyond the National Security Agency's surveillance activities to the practices of companies like Google and Facebook, released a long-anticipated report on Thursday that recommends developing government limits on how private companies make use of the torrent of information they gather from their customers online. (r.reuters.com/sej98v)
* Ares Management LP, a private equity and debt investing firm, is expected to have its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, becoming the seventh major private equity firm to tap the public markets. The initial public offering was priced conservatively Thursday evening, raising $345.7 million for Ares and a large shareholder, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. The shares priced at $19 each, below an expected range of $21 to $23, according to a person briefed on the matter. (r.reuters.com/zej98v)
* Merck & Co Inc, the big health care company, is close to a deal to sell its consumer unit to Bayer AG for about $14 billion, a person briefed on the matter said on Thursday. (r.reuters.com/buj98v)
* Three federal agencies and one billionaire hedge fund manager have placed Herbalife Ltd under the microscope, scrutinizing whether the diet-supplements company is a pyramid scheme. But Herbalife is not the only one under investigation. Some federal authorities are pursuing other inquiries that might expand the regulatory gaze from Herbalife to the traders who traffic in the company's stock. (r.reuters.com/cuj98v)
* The auction site eBay Inc has settled a federal antitrust case that accused it of having a secret deal with Intuit Inc not to try to hire each other's employees. (r.reuters.com/duj98v) (Compiled by Arnab Sen in Bangalore)