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Business news in brief

In the Region

FCC to consider sports limits

Federal regulators said they would consider preventing

Comcast Corp.

and other cable TV companies from withholding some sports telecasts from competitors. The proposed rule change will be considered at the

Federal Communications Commission's

monthly meeting Jan. 20, the agency said in a release. Comcast withholds its SportsNet coverage of professional teams in Philadelphia from satellite competitors

DirecTV Group Inc.


Dish Network Corp.

, and

AT&T Inc.

has complained of restrictions by

Cox Communications Inc.


Cablevision Systems Corp.

The potential rule change would let cable TV competitors seek program access by filing complaints with the FCC. The change would have the FCC treat equally programs sent through satellite links - which include most cable TV content - and those distributed entirely over wires.

- Bloomberg News

Bucks County company fined

South Carolina workplace-safety officials have fined a Bucks County chemical company more than $23,000 for seven serious violations in a July ammonia leak that killed a passing driver. Authorities say a hose ruptured as workers from

Tanner Industries Inc.

, Southampton, Pa., moved the liquid anhydrous ammonia from a truck, spilling 1,800 gallons of the chemical used in cleaning products. The ammonia evaporated, creating a cloud that drifted across a highway in Swansea. Jacqueline Ginyard, 38, drove into it and was overcome by fumes. Trucking company

Werner Transportation Services Inc.

, Omaha, Neb., was cited for four serious violations. Tanner Industries says it is cooperating with authorities. Werner did not return a message.

- AP

RAIT Financial in exchange offer

RAIT Financial Trust

said it exchanged $34 million in convertible notes for 8.13 million RAIT common shares and $3.1 million in cash. The Philadelphia real estate investment company had offered to exchange up to $62.83 million in 6.875 percent convertible notes for stock and cash.

- Harold Brubaker

Penn National closes on Ohio site

Penn National Gaming Inc.

said it had completed the purchase of a 44-acre site in Toledo, Ohio, on which it expects to open a casino. The Wyomissing, Pa., company expects to open its $250 million Hollywood Casino Toledo in the second half of 2012.

- Roslyn Rudolph


New duties for steel imports

The U.S. government is imposing new duties on imports of steel pipes from China, the latest sign of trade tensions between the two countries. The case will affect about $2.7 billion worth of Chinese imports. The

U.S. International Trade Commission

voted to impose duties between 10.36 percent and 15.78 percent on the pipes, which are used mostly in the oil and gas industries. The duties are intended to offset government subsidies that the U.S. government says China provides its steelmakers. The U.S. industry alleged that Chinese exporters sell the subsidized pipes at unfairly low prices in the United States, known as "dumping."

- AP

GM recalling 22,000 Corvettes


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


General Motors Co.

is recalling more than 22,000 Chevrolet Corvettes over problems with their removable roofs, which could separate from the vehicle. The recall, which was announced this month and begins in January, applies to 2005-07 Chevrolet Corvettes and 2006-07 Corvette Z06's with removable roofs. The administration says the adhesive between the roof panel and frame can separate, which would cause noise, poor fit, and water leakage. If the adhesive completely separates, the roof panel could come off the car. Dealers will install a new roof panel free for affected cars, the administration said. For more information, owners can contact Chevrolet at 1-800-630-2438, or


. Owners may also contact the NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or



- AP

Aetna expects up to $65M charge

Aetna Inc.

says it expects a fourth-

quarter charge of up to $65 million to cover costs for a previously announced series of layoffs and office consolidations. In November, the health insurer, which has operations in Blue Bell, Montgomery County, announced plans to cut 625 jobs, or nearly 2 percent of its staff. It also said it would make a similar number of cuts in early 2010. Aetna expects to employ about 34,300 people when the layoffs are complete in the first quarter of 2010. - AP

Saab shut down as talks continue

General Motors Co.

says it is pressing ahead with plans to shut down Saab, though it will continue to hear bids for the Swedish car brand. GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said the automaker would not comment on reports that a deadline for proposals for Saab had been extended to Jan. 7. GM had said it was giving bidders until today to make an offer for Saab, but decided earlier this month that it would shut down the brand. GM has been in talks over Saab for the last month with Dutch exotic car-maker Spyker Cars. It has also heard from other Saab bidders after an attempt to sell the brand.

- AP

Pessimism about cable accord

News Corp.

said that it was not likely to reach an agreement with

Time Warner Cable Inc.

and that it expected to pull Fox broadcasting from the cable system when their deal expires tonight. "We deeply regret that millions of Fox customers will be deprived of our programming," chief operating officer Chase Carey said in a memo to employees. "We need to receive fair compensation from Time Warner Cable to go forward." The two sides have been unable to come to terms since midyear, Carey said. Time Warner Cable would accept federal mediation, chief executive officer Glenn Britt wrote in a letter to Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.), a proposal News Corp. rejected. Both sides will continue to negotiate up to the deadline, Carey said.

- Bloomberg News

Yields mixed on money funds

The average seven-day yield on taxable money market funds was 0.03 percent this week, unchanged from last week, according to

iMoneyNet Inc.

A seven-day yield is an annual yield that is based on the preceding seven days' level of income by the fund. The average yield on tax-free funds was 0.05 percent this week, up from 0.04 percent last week.

- Rhonda Dickey