News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: Microsoft to buy Skype

Katharine Crnko May 10, 2011

Here are today’s top headlines from the Marketplace Morning Report and from around the web.

Microsoft has agreed to buy Internet phone service Skype in what some call an effort to close the gap between competitors Google and Apple. Here‘s Marketplace’s coverage.

GM is expected to announce today that it will spend more that $2 billion on plant updates and expansion in eight states, creating 4,200 jobs.

A senior Greek government official said today that the country expects a new bailout package as early as June. The country expects another $86.11 billion in financial aid to cover its fiscal needs into 2013.

In a speech held at the Economic Club of New York yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner indicated that he plans to hold a hard line in debt-ceiling negotiations. Boehner also reiterated his believe that the spending cuts should be in the “trillions, not billions.”

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) Chairman Sheila Bair will leave the agency effective July 8 after serving five years as chairman.

Google is expected to launch a new cloud-based music service similar to’s. Think of the service as a music locker, “allowing users to upload their music to a remote server and play songs from any computer browser or through an app that runs on smartphones and tablets using the Android operating system.”

More good news for Google today — handsets running the Android software has captured 57 percent of Japan’s smartphone market, beating out Apple’s iPhone.

Luxury online shopping website Gilt Group is now valued at over $1 billion.

Wendy’s/Arby’s Group says it lost $1.4 million in the first quarter. It has now lowered earnings expectations in 2011, citing the rising cost of beef. The fast-food giant also says it plans to raise menu prices.

Mississippi River floods continue to threaten crops, refineries and homes as the waters linger just below 48 feet in Memphis. The waters are expected to empty into the Gulf of Mexico in about two weeks.

A Sears Holdings Corp. spokesman said on Monday that the retailer is considering a move outside the state of Illinois.

The largest publicly traded car-rental company Hertz has offered to buy competitor Dollar Thrifty Automotive for $2.24 billion in cash and stock — topping a bid from Avis budget group.

You can read the rest of today’s stories from the Marketplace Morning Report here.

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