PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – March 18

March 18 (BestGrowthStock) – The following were the top stories in
the New York Times business pages on Thursday. Reuters has not
verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O: ) has threatened to stop directly
selling the books of some publishers online unless they agree
to a detailed list of concessions regarding the sale of
electronic books, according to two industry executives with
direct knowledge the discussions.

* Officials at the Federal Reserve are trying to alter a
Senate proposal that would focus the Fed’s regulatory attention
on the nation’s biggest banks and strip away its powers over
small and medium-size banks.

* Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) (GOOG.O: ) and Intel Corp (INTC.O: ) have teamed
with Sony Corp (6758.T: ) to develop a platform called Google TV
to bring the Web into the living room through a new generation
of televisions and set-top boxes.

* In a bid to shore up a deflation-plagued economy, Japan’s
central bank eased monetary policy further Wednesday by
increasing a loan program for banks.

* The Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N: ) unit that drew criticism
and a federal warning letter in January on the grounds of
mishandling quality control problems with Tylenol says it has
taken steps to prevent similar incidents in the future,
according to documents newly posted on the Web site of the Food
and Drug Administration.

* In a rare bipartisan vote, the Senate approved and sent
to President Barack Obama on Wednesday a bill intended to spur
employment by providing businesses with incentives to hire new
workers – an approach that Congressional Democrats hope to
repeat.

* General Motors Co [GM.UL] has a “reasonable chance” of
earning a profit this year, the carmaker’s chief financial
officer, Christopher Liddell, said Wednesday.

* The World Bank recommended higher interest rates and a
stronger currency for China on Wednesday, as it raised growth
forecasts for the country.

* An Italian judge Wednesday ordered JPMorgan Chase & Co
(JPM.N: ), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: ), UBS (UBSN.VX: ) and a banking
unit of the German company Hypo Real Estate Holding to stand
trial for fraud in their handling of interest rate swaps
acquired by the city of Milan in 2005.

* Wholesale prices fell 0.6 percent in February, the
government said Wednesday, signaling that inflation remained
tame even in a time of extraordinarily low interest rates.

* The Wachovia Bank, a unit of Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N: ),
has agreed to pay $160 million to settle accusations that it
laundered Mexican drug money.

* Susan Merrill, the head of enforcement at the Financial
Industry Regulatory Authority, which polices the brokerage
industry, is stepping down after less than three years in the
job.

* Two former computer programmers at Bernard Madoff’s firm
were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Manhattan.

* Shares of the video rental chain Blockbuster Inc (BBI.N: )
sank nearly 30 percent Wednesday after the company warned that
it might have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

* The European Union on Wednesday warned Germany, France,
Spain, Italy and the Netherlands that they are relying too much
on a strong economic recovery to meet debt reduction targets.

* Shares in Russia’s state oil company, Rosneft (ROSN.MM: ),
slumped Wednesday after the company was said to have warned its
trading partners that a British court could seize assets under
a lawsuit filed by former executives of Yukos Oil.

* A letter demanding that Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) (GOOG.O: ) compensate
advertising agents if it withdrew from China probably is not
genuine, said a sales official at one of the companies named as
a signatory.

* Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, adopting a harsher
tone toward Greece than the one expressed by some other
European leaders, said Wednesday that Europe needed better
rules to police its members, and she tacitly endorsed a
proposal to eject wayward countries from the group of countries
that use the euro.

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PRESS DIGEST – New York Times business news – March 18