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Business news in brief

In the Region

Transit tax break in jeopardy

Six U.S. representatives from Southeastern Pennsylvania urged Congress on Friday to continue to provide transit riders the same tax break as commuters who drive. In a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Speaker John Boehner, the Pennsylvania representatives said "the benefits that thousands of Pennsylvanians rely upon to help cover the cost of getting to work will be severely reduced at the end of the year" if Congress doesn't act by Dec. 31. Under current law, commuters can set aside as much as $245 a month to cover the cost of transit rides or parking at work. That pretax benefit is slated to change Jan. 1: Parking benefits will increase to $250 while transit benefits fall to $130. The signers of the letter were Reps. Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.), Robert Brady (D., Pa.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Michael Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), and Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.). - Paul Nussbaum

PNC to pay Freddie Mac $81M

PNC Financial Services Group, the biggest bank based in Pennsylvania and one of the 10 largest in the United States, said Friday it had agreed to pay a net $81 million to Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.) "to resolve substantially all indemnification and repurchase obligations related to loans sold to Freddie Mac between 2000 and 2008." The settlement relates to approximately 900,000 loans PNC sold Freddie Mac, the company said. - Joseph N. DiStefano

Phila. Fed chief favors taper

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia president Charles Plosser, who has opposed additional stimulus, said better-than-expected job growth bolsters the case for the central bank to wind down its asset purchases. "With the economy doing what it's doing, it's probably time to figure out a way to gracefully exit from this," Plosser said Friday in an interview on CNBC. "We should be looking for ways to withdraw support or at least slow down the increase in accommodation in order to begin to let the economy stabilize on its own." Fed officials signaled they may taper their $85 billion in monthly bond buying "in coming months" if the economy improves as anticipated, according to the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's October meeting. Policy makers next meet Dec. 17 and 18. - Bloomberg News

Aereo moves into Baltimore

Aereo Inc., which grabs over-the-air broadcast-TV signals and streams the content over the Internet for $8 a month, has expanded into Baltimore, its 10th TV market in the United States. The nation's TV networks, including Comcast Corp.-owned NBC, have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to shut down Aereo for taking TV signals without paying for them. Aereo says its service is legal. - Bob Fernandez