Feb 15 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 U.S. airline industry took a decisive step toward
greater concentration on Thursday with the announcement that
American Airlines, a unit of AMR Corp, and US Airways
Group Inc had agreed to merge, forming the nation's
* Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc and
Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital agreed to buy ketchup
maker H.J.Heinz Co for $23 billion on Thursday.
* European economies shrank in the fourth quarter at their
fastest rate since the depth of the financial crisis in 2009,
new data showed on Thursday, with both strong and weak countries
falling short of expectations and raising anxieties of a longer,
* Blackstone Group said it would keep most of its
$550 million with SAC Capital Advisors for three more months, as
the hedge fund's clients faced a regularly scheduled quarterly
deadline on Thursday to decide whether to continue investing.
* Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev moved on
Thursday to rescue its $20.1 billion proposed takeover of Grupo
Modelo of Mexico, the maker of Corona beer, by
offering concessions aimed at persuading American antitrust
authorities to let the deal proceed.
* Activist shareholder Carl Icahn has built up a 12.98
percent stake, or 14 million shares, in Herbalife Ltd, a
nutritional supplements company, according to a regulatory
filing on Thursday.
* U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co Inc agreed to pay $688
million to settle lawsuits claiming that it had harmed investors
by delaying the release of unfavorable study results for its
cholesterol drug Vytorin, the company announced on Thursday.
* General Motors Co said its profit in the fourth
quarter increased slightly, as continued losses in Europe offset
positive results in North America.
* The Moscow Exchange, better known by its original name,
Micex, is scheduled to begin trading on Friday on its own
trading platform. The listing drew interest from specialized
investors in financial services companies and institutional
investors in the United States and Europe, a financial industry
official said on Thursday.