July 22, 2014 / 6:31 AM / in 3 years

PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - July 22

July 22 (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.

* Netflix Inc reported its business grew in the second quarter thanks to international customers and little adverse effect from an announced price increase. The company said it surpassed 50 million total members for its streaming service, including free trial memberships, in the second quarter of this year. Netflix has announced plans to introduce its service to a number of European markets in September, including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland. (nyti.ms/1lodcae)

* In response to an article about the political connections of some of its shareholders, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd IPO-BABA.N discounted the notion that their backgrounds helped drive its business. In a strongly worded statement on Monday in Chinese on its account on Weibo, a Twitter-like social media network, Alibaba said The Times article "mistakenly described" Alibaba's relationship with the investors. (nyti.ms/1n7qLzq)

* Yahoo Inc announced Monday that it had agreed to acquire Flurry, a mobile ad and analytics company. Flurry's advertising expertise could help Yahoo as it tries to build a meaningful mobile ad business. Although more than half of Yahoo's monthly audience visits come on mobile devices, revenue from mobile ads is still so small that the company does not break it out. (nyti.ms/Ul2utY)

* Time Warner Inc on Monday amended its corporate bylaws and removed a provision that allowed shareholders to call a special board meeting. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Time Warner said the change was effective immediately. Without the ability to call a special meeting, shareholders supportive of a Twenty-First Century Fox offer would not be able to replace Time Warner's board of directors before the company's next annual meeting, which would likely come next June. (nyti.ms/UodPcn)

* Malaysia Airlines' two crashes in less than five months are sending tremors through the aviation insurance market - not least because the carrier's $2.25 billion overall liability policy is mysteriously missing a standard clause that usually limits insurers' payments for search-and-rescue costs. (nyti.ms/1wTlbS7)

* A Senate investigation has found that hedge funds - in particular, James Simons' Renaissance Technologies - used complex financial structures to claim billions of dollars in tax savings. Between 1998 and 2013, more than a dozen hedge funds conducted hundreds of billions of dollars in trades using hundreds of structures, known as "basket options," created by Barclays Plc and Deutsche Bank AG, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a report on Monday. (nyti.ms/1n7EsOT)

* Goodwill Industries International, a nonprofit agency that operates thrift stores around the country, said on Monday that it was investigating a potential security breach that may have led to the theft of customers' credit card data. (nyti.ms/1qZZ5vl)

* Hedge funds are not new to farmland. For nearly a decade they have scoured the corners of the globe for cheap land as food prices have soared, positioning themselves to profit from the growing demand. Hedge funds now have $14 billion invested in farmland, according to the data provider Preqin. With its steady income stream, farmland is proving to be a ripe offering for sophisticated investors. (nyti.ms/1nPkbc0) (Compiled by Rama Venkat Raman in Bangalore)

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