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Business news in brief

In the Region

Insurer launches exchange

Independence Blue Cross, will launch its own private exchange of health plans available to companies with 100 or more employees, the region's largest health insurer said. The exchange will allow employers to decide how much they want to spend on each employee's health care coverage and then to give employees choices of various levels of plans at various costs. The exchange, which launches Oct. 1, will include an online tool to help employees choose which plan works best for them. Independence Blue Cross has similar exchanges for small and midsize employers. - Jane M. Von Bergen

N.Y. designer hired for tower

Gensler, a New York design firm, will develop the interiors of the new Comcast Corp. high-rise with Foster & Partners and Daroff Design Inc., Gensler has announced. Construction on the new Comcast tower in Center City began this summer and will finish in early 2018. - Bob Fernandez

Graphene funds production

Graphene Frontiers L.L.C., a Philadelphia technology start-up, will join with the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany, N.Y., to develop next-generation graphene-based processes, technologies, and techniques for application in the consumer electronics industry. A $3 million capital investment by Graphene Frontiers will help set up a satellite space at CNSE's Albany Nanotech Complex for a 300 millimeter graphene growth and transfer production line for wafer-scale graphene supply. While the supply will be developed in New York, it will be returned to Philadelphia to be turned into biosensors, said Graphene spokesman Anthony Stipa. - Diane Mastrull

Urban irks Kent State

Kent State University, the site of a shooting in 1970 that killed four students, criticized Urban Outfitters Inc., of Philadelphia, for selling a sweatshirt with its college logo and what appears to be splattered blood. "We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit," the Ohio university said in a statement online. Urban Outfitters, with a history of stocking controversial items, issued an apology for the one-of-a kind, $129 item. Urban Outfitters has drawn flak before for its clothing. In 2011, the Navajo Nation sent the company a letter demanding that it pull the tribe's name from a line of purses, T-shirts, and underwear. - Bloomberg News

RJMetrics raises $16.5M

RJMetrics, a Philadelphia firm that helps companies consolidate and analyze data, said it raised $16.5 million from August Capital and current investors Trinity Ventures and SoftTech VC, and intends the funds to speed product development and win new customers. RJMetrics says its 300 current customers are primarily e-commerce, software-as-a-service, and mobile businesses. - Reid Kanaley

Study: Don't blame fracking

The drilling procedure called fracking did not cause much-publicized cases of tainted groundwater in areas of Pennsylvania and Texas, a new study finds. Instead, it blames the contamination on problems in pipes and seals in natural gas wells. "We found the evidence suggested that fracking was not to blame, that it was actually a well integrity issue," said Ohio State University geochemist Thomas Darrah, lead author of the study. He said those results are good news because that type of contamination problem is easier to fix and is more preventable. The work was released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. - AP

New COO at Dechert

James N. Leary has joined Dechert L.L.P. as chief operating officer, the firm said on Monday. Leary had spent 14 years as executive director of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld L.L.P. in Washington, where he was responsible for managing the business operations of the firm's 19 offices. At Dechert, Leary will oversee all business aspects of the firm, including finance, human resources, marketing, technology, and operations. A graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo, Leary serves on the university's foundation board. - Chris Mondics


Microsoft acquires Minecraft

Microsoft Corp. agreed to acquire Mojang AB, the software company behind the popular game Minecraft, for $2.5 billion, in a bid to boost its Xbox and mobile businesses. Microsoft said Mojang would join its game-studio division, though the company's founders will move on to other projects. - Bloomberg News

How to undo U2 album

Apple Inc. is releasing a special tool that lets iPhone users remove the free, but in some cases unwanted, U2 album Songs of Innocence from their iTunes collections. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced last week that the new album would be given to the company's 500 million iTunes users. The release showed up in users' music libraries. Users took to Twitter to complain and ask how to remove it. - AP