February 20, 2014 / 6:20 AM / in 4 years

PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Feb 20

Feb 20 (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.

* The frenzy to acquire fast-growing technology startups reached new heights on Wednesday as Facebook Inc announced its largest acquisition ever, saying it would pay at least $16 billion for WhatsApp, a text messaging application with 450 million users around the world who pay little or no money for it. ()

* When Federal Reserve officials last met at the end of January, they were surprised by the strength of the economy, cheered by the optimism of consumers and convinced they should continue to dismantle the Fed’s economic stimulus campaign, according to an account the Fed released Wednesday. ()

* In a surprising move, Gap Inc informed its employees on Wednesday that it would set $9 as the minimum hourly rate for its United States work force this year and then establish a minimum of $10 next year. ()

* Regulators are taking another crack at their effort to keep the web free and open, introducing new rules that would discourage Internet service providers from charging companies to stream their movies, music and other content through a faster express lane. ()

* Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America , received about $12.5 million in restricted stock grants for 2013, according to a regulatory filing. ()

* Shares of Safeway Inc surged in after-market trading on Wednesday after the supermarket chain disclosed that it was “in discussions concerning a possible transaction involving the sale of the company.” ()

* Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, famous for their legal battle with the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, have created a financial index that provides a regularly updated figure for the price of Bitcoin. ()

* A Brookings Institution study found that income inequality was sharply higher in vibrant cities like New York than in less-dynamic ones like Columbus, Ohio. ()

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