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Business news in brief

In the Region

American Airlines on S&P index

American Airlines, Philadelphia's largest air carrier after merging with US Airways, will join the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index after the stock market closes Friday. American will replace Allergan Inc., which is being acquired by Actavis P.L.C. in a $66 billion deal. American's shares rose 6.91 percent Tuesday, closing at $53.69. American joins other U.S. airlines, Delta and Southwest, on the S&P 500, which is seen by some money managers and pension plan administrators as a reflection of the overall performance of the stock market. - Linda Loyd

FCC chief defends decision

Congressional Republicans on Tuesday accused the Federal Communications Commission of bowing to White House pressure on its "Net neutrality" decision, which has angered the nation's cable and wireless giants, including Philadelphia-based Comcast. A defiant FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler told the House committee that keeping the White House up to date on FCC dealings is not unusual and that he would not apologize for what he considers a transparent deliberations process. "There were no secret instructions from the White House," Wheeler told the committee. "I did not, as CEO of an independent agency, feel obligated to follow the president's recommendation." - Associated Press

New CEO at Post & Schell

A. James Johnston, a longtime litigator and employment lawyer at Post & Schell P.C. in Center City, took over Tuesday as the firm's president and chief executive officer. He succeeds Brian Peters, who stepped down in January after leading the firm for 14 years. Johnston is a 1980 graduate of Dickinson College and Dickinson School of Law, and has chaired the firm's employment and employment relations practice group and its business litigation department. The 135-lawyer firm said Johnston, while serving as president and CEO, will continue his employment law practice. - Chris Mondics

Teva, Ignyta sign drug deal

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Ignyta Inc. said Tuesday they struck a deal in which Ignyta gets the rights to four early-stage cancer drug candidates. Teva and other investors will give Ignyta $42 million, with Teva ending up holding 12 percent of Ignyta's shares after the deal closes. Ignyta is based in San Diego. Teva is based in Israel and has operations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. - David Sell

FDA to look at GSK's Breo

GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. and Theravance Inc.'s respiratory drug Breo Ellipta will face questions from a regulatory panel over the safety of expanding its use to treat asthma patients and whether it's suitable for children. Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will meet Thursday to discuss whether Breo could exacerbate asthma symptoms and whether GSK's database of clinical trial patients designed to examine safety concerns is adequate, according to documents released Tuesday by the FDA. GSK is seeking Breo approval as a once-daily maintenance treatment for asthma patients 12 and older. Breo is a combination of a steroid and a long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) called vilanterol. - Bloomberg News

Actavis-Allergan sale complete

Actavis P.L.C. paid $70 billion to buy Botox maker Allergan Inc., and that includes the name. The deal closed Tuesday, though adopting the name Allergan will require Actavis shareholder approval. Actavis executive offices are in New Jersey. Allergan's longtime leader, David E.I. Pyott, will not have a position in the new company. The combined company will be among the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, with estimated 2015 sales of $23 billion. - Los Angeles Times

Tesla: Autonomous cars coming

Tesla Motors Inc. chief executive officer Elon Musk said Tuesday in San Jose, Calif., that we'll "take autonomous cars for granted" in a short period of time and signaled that the automaker plans to be a leader in the nascent market. Pending a signature of a bill by New Jersey Gov. Christie, Tesla hopes to soon sell electric cars in the state. "Tesla is the leader in electric cars but also will be the leader in autonomous cars, at least autonomous cars that people can buy," Musk said. "We're going to put a lot of effort into autonomous driving. It's going to be the default thing, and it will save a lot of lives." - Bloomberg News


Uber troubles in South Korea

South Korean police are investigating drivers for Uber Technologies Inc. on suspicion of violating the country's transportation business law, which prohibits the use of private cars to ferry fee-paying passengers. Police are investigating 17 people, including the head of Uber's Korea operations, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said in a statement on its website, without naming them. Uber Korea said it is cooperating. - Bloomberg News

Greece wants an audience

Greece has called for joint talks with the top leaders of Germany, France, and the European Union in advance of Thursday's EU meeting, to try to resolve the crisis surrounding the country's bailout negotiations. - AP