Daily Briefing

DAILY BRIEFING

April 17, 2009

Full-length movies, TV for YouTube

LOS ANGELES : YouTube says it is partnering with major studios to stream full-length movies and TV shows on its site for free. The Web site owned by Google Inc. says it is teaming up on the initiative with Sony Pictures, CBS, MGM, Lionsgate, Starz and the BBC. Advertising revenue will be shared with the content providers. YouTube also says it will more broadly use video ads that play mid-stream in breaks on longer content. The movies and TV shows are currently limited to U.S. users.

Associated Press

DirecTV, Comcast hit with fines

WASHINGTON : Satellite television provider DirecTV Inc. and cable company Comcast Corp. will pay out a combined $3.2 million to settle claims that they broke the law by placing phone calls to people who had asked the companies not to call them again. It's the second time DirecTV has been hit with such a fine. The Federal Trade Commission made the announcement Thursday. The FTC said DirecTV agreed to pay $2.3 million to settle charges that it violated do-not-call provisions. Comcast will pay out $900,000, the FTC said.

Associated Press

Zurich Financial to buy AIG unit

CHARLOTTE, N.C. : Insurer American International Group Inc. said Thursday it will sell its car insurance unit, 21st Century Insurance, to Zurich Financial Services Group for $1.9 billion. New York-based AIG is in the process of selling off a number of business units to help repay $182.5 billion in financial support from the government that it has received since September. The transaction is the largest divestiture by AIG since then.

Associated Press

JPMorgan posts upbeat profit

NEW YORK : JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s first-quarter profit wasn't as good as last year's, but it told investors what they wanted to hear: Banking is not dead. JPMorgan became the third big bank in a week to release upbeat earnings news, reporting Thursday that it earned $2.14 billion for the January-March period, thanks to strong trading activity and banking to consumers.

Associated Press

Newsprint maker files for protection

NEW YORK : Newsprint maker AbitibiBowater Inc. filed for bankruptcy court protection Thursday after deciding there was no other way it could deal with its debt of more than $6 billion. AbitibiBowater, created in 2007 in a combination of U.S.-based Bowater and Canada's Abitibi-Consolidated, has faced collapsing demand for its newsprint as advertisers abandon newspapers for the Internet. In the U.S., newspapers have been cutting back on newsprint usage in response to rising prices, primarily by trimming the width of their pages.

Associated Press

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