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Business news briefs

Business news briefs
By The Associated Press Published: February 13, 2013

Business briefs


Standard & Poor's to fight case

Standard & Poor's is prepared to spend years beating back a federal lawsuit that accuses the company of giving falsely high ratings to mortgage investments that helped trigger the financial crisis, executives said Tuesday. The government in a civil complaint filed last week in Los Angeles federal court said it may seek up to $5 billion — several years' worth of profits for parent company McGraw-Hill. The company believes the charges lack merit, but the case is likely to drag on for three or more years, general counsel Ken Vittor said in a conference call with analysts.

Dell rebellion gains support

A shareholder rebellion against Dell's proposed $24.4 billion sale to its founder and other investors is gaining support, fueling a belief that the struggling personal computer maker will have to wrangle a higher price to get the deal done. Mutual fund firm T. Rowe Price joined the opposition Tuesday. Price and shareholder Southeastern Asset Management believe founder and CEO Michael Dell and the investment firm Silver Lake are seizing control and ending Dell Inc.'s 25-year history as a publicly held company on the cheap. T. Rowe Price and Southeastern, the two largest independent shareholders, own nearly 13 percent of the company combined. Michael Dell has committed his 14 percent stake toward the deal. He is the only investor who owns more of the stock.

Intel plans TV set-top service

Intel Corp. said Tuesday it will sell a set-top box that brings Internet-delivered movies and shows to a TV this year. Various boxes today bring Internet content to TV sets, with popular ones made by Roku and Apple. But Intel wants to go further and make its box and streaming service a replacement for cable. Intel didn't say what the box and service would cost.

Oklahoman sentenced in scheme

TRENTON, N.J. — Federal prosecutors say an Oklahoma woman who admitted running a mortgage fraud scheme in New Jersey that generated $4.7 million in fraudulent loans has been sentenced to four years in prison. Taya Romano, 36, also will have to serve three years of supervised release once she's freed from prison and make restitution. Romano pleaded guilty in January 2011 to a federal charge of mail fraud affecting a financial institution. Prosecutors say that between 2008 and 2009, Romano conspired with her then-husband to solicit and obtain money from two sets of family friends in New Jersey. They say Romano solicited investments in what were purported to be purchases of apartment complexes and undeveloped land in Oklahoma.

GE will sell 30 Rock to Comcast

— General Electric is saying goodbye to 30 Rock — the building and the TV business born there. It's a step in GE's efforts to focus on theoretically more profitable ventures such as manufacturing medical imaging equipment, airplane engines and electrical generators. The Fairfield, Conn., company announced Tuesday it is selling its 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal to Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable TV operator, for $16.7 billion. Comcast had bought a majority stake in the television and movie company in January 2011 and was expected to buy out GE's remaining stake over the next several years. General Electric will use the money to accelerate its share repurchase program to about $10 billion in 2013.

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