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Business news in brief

In the Region

Cable-merger review delayed

Federal regulators said Monday that Time Warner Cable Inc.'s failure to produce 31,000 documents will delay its review of the Comcast Corp. merger deal by three weeks. Philadelphia-based Comcast proposed acquiring Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable company, for $45 billion in early 2014. The Federal Communications Commission criticized Time Warner Cable, saying in a statement that the New York company's tardy document production has "interfered with the commission's ability to conduct a prompt and thorough review." - Bob Fernandez

More Pa. homes without heat

Pennsylvania utility regulators say 23,213 households throughout the state lack heat, compared with 19,653 a year ago, according to its Cold Weather Survey. The survey by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission indicated that 5,607 Peco households heated with electricity lack service this year compared with 4,379 households a year ago. There were 9,855 gas-fired PGW households in Philadelphia without heat this year. Last year the number was 8,790. PUC spokeswoman Denise McCracken said she did not know why the numbers were higher this year. - Bob Fernandez

UGI wants to build gas pipeline

UGI Energy Services L.L.C., of Valley Forge, said it would seek approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a plan to build a 35-mile pipeline to carry natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions to central Pennsylvania. The company said its Sunbury Pipeline would supply gas to a proposed gas-fired power plant in Snyder County that would replace the existing coal-fired Sunbury Generation L.P. plant near Shamokin Dam. UGI said it expected to file a formal application to FERC in mid-2015, and construction of the pipeline is expected to begin in 2016. - Reid Kanaley

$10M project starts in Dresher

BET Investments Inc., a real estate development company owned by Bruce Toll, has broken ground on a $10 million development called Dresher Commons in Upper Dublin, Montgomery County, that will include a CVS pharmacy, Chipotle restaurant, and two dozen townhouses. "I've owned the property for 10 years and I'm happy to build on it," Toll said. - Bob Fernandez

PSEG to buy Md. solar facility

Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.'s solar unit agreed to buy a 12.9-megawatt energy facility in Maryland from Juwi Solar Inc. that will be built next year. The PSEG Waldorf Solar Energy Center project near Washington will sell its power under a 20-year contract to Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Newark, N.J.-based PSEG Solar Source said. The solar facility's purchase price wasn't provided. Juwi expects to complete construction in June. It will be PSEG's 11th utility-scale solar project. - Bloomberg News

Merck to test Ebola vaccine

Iowa-based NewLink Genetics Corp. and New Jersey-based Merck & Co. won $30 million in U.S. funds to test an Ebola vaccine that may help stem an outbreak that has killed more than 7,370 people in West Africa. The grant, from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, will support a study involving 330 people to test the vaccine if it clears smaller trials, according to a statement Monday from the companies. - Bloomberg News

Caesars to buy affiliate

Caesars Entertainment Corp. is buying back an affiliate it set up last year in a deal that will help the casino operator pursue a plan to restructure $18.4 billion of debt in bankruptcy court. Caesars owns Bally's and Caesars in Atlantic City, as well as Harrah's Philadelphia in Chester. The parent company will merge with Caesars Acquisition Co. in an all-stock transaction, Caesars said. The deal will give the combined company $1.7 billion of cash to fund a reorganization it drafted with bondholders, which would put its biggest unit into Chapter 11 proceedings by mid-January. - Bloomberg News


Alstom to pay $772M

French power and transportation company Alstom S.A. agreed to pay $772 million to resolve allegations that it bribed high-ranking foreign government officials for lucrative projects, the U.S. Justice Department said. Federal prosecutors said Alstom falsified its records and paid tens of millions of dollars in bribes for help in obtaining more than $4 billion in projects in countries including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Bahamas. - AP

Ocwen settles with N.Y.

New York financial regulators reached a settlement with Ocwen Financial Corp. requiring the nation's largest subprime mortgage servicer to reform its practices and provide $150 million to help struggling New York homeowners. The consent order requires William Erbey to resign as executive chairman of the corporation and chairman of four related companies. The news sent Ocwen shares down 26.9 percent. The stock shed $5.89 to $16.01. Ocwen reached a separate multistate settlement last year. - AP

BMW to replace driver air bags

BMW agreed to demands from the U.S. government to replace driver's-side air bags across the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been pushing companies to recall older cars with air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. They can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel at drivers and passengers. At least five deaths have been blamed on Takata inflators. The decision affects 140,000 BMW 3 Series cars made between January 2004 and August 2006. - AP