Jan 3 - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Al Jazeera, announced a deal to take over Current TV, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by Al Gore, a former vice president, and his business partners seven years ago. ()
* On Wednesday, Avis Budget Group Inc, the car rental conglomerate, announced that it was buying Zipcar for about $500 million. ()
* An advertising watchdog group says it told the distributor of the top-selling energy “shot,” 5-Hour Energy years ago that a claim that the drink did not cause a letdown once the effects wore off was unfounded. ()
* K2 Intelligence, the investigative company started by Jules Kroll and Jeremy Kroll, has acquired the corporate intelligence firm Thacher Associates in a deal that highlights the growing and lucrative business of internal investigations and corporate monitoring. ()
* Even though Congress’s last-minute deal means higher taxes for almost all Americans, businesses and consumers are relieved that some of the uncertainty about what they will owe the government this year is gone. ()
* With the resolution of the year-end fiscal crisis just hours old, the next political confrontation is already taking shape as this city braces for a fight in February over raising the nation’s borrowing limit. But it is a debate President Obama says he will have nothing more to do with. ()
* The state’s Health Department found in an analysis it prepared early last year that the much-debated drilling technology known as hydrofracking could be conducted safely in New York, according to a copy obtained by The New York Times from an expert who did not believe it should be kept secret. ()