April 15, 2013 / 6:40 AM / 5 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - April 15

April 15 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc was nearing a deal Sunday to take over fellow laboratory-equipment maker Life Technologies Corp for as much as $13 billion, in a move that could enable the company to slash costs and reap gains from next-generation genetic-sequencing machines. ()

* China’s economic growth slowed unexpectedly in the first quarter, raising concerns that a recovery that started in the second half of last year is already losing steam. ()

* Energy Future Holdings Corp, the troubled Texas power company formerly known as TXU Corp that is at the center of a record private equity buyout, plans to pay roughly $270 million in interest due on its bonds in May, which could let it stave off a bankruptcy filing for as long as another 18 months, according to people close to the situation. ()

* Federal aviation regulators on Monday will order special inspections and, if needed, replacement of improperly manufactured parts on more than 1,000 Boeing Co 737 jets that could cause pilots to lose control. ()

* Mark Zandi, a prominent economist, has emerged as a leading candidate to head the regulator of mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac amid signs that he would likely attract support from Senate Republicans, according to people familiar with the matter. ()

* In a settlement proposal to European Union antitrust lawyers, Google Inc for the first time has agreed to submit to a legally binding commitment to make minor changes to the look of its web-search engine in order to allay concerns that it is hurting competitors, according to a person familiar with the matter. ()

* Nissan Motor Co Ltd is considering a new plant in North America to produce at least 100,000 of its premium Infiniti vehicles a year, likely starting in 2017 as the automaker fans out production globally from Japan. ()

* General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co have teamed up to produce a nine-speed and a 10-speed automatic transmission for use in their portfolios of cars, crossovers, sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks as they look to keep in step with their rivals both foreign and closer to home. ()

* The first patent on OxyContin expires Tuesday, a milestone in the history of one of the most powerful and abused painkillers on the market. But it could be quite some time before generic versions of the drug are available. ()

* Hedge fund Barington Capital Group is pressuring Jones Group Inc to sell parts of its portfolio, according to a person familiar with the matter, as the apparel manufacturer pursues a turnaround. ()

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