Here's what's happening in the world of business on Aug. 18, 2014.
— GOOGLE'S ASCENT —
In the 10 years since Google went public, the company has announced one big idea after another. Here's a great analysis of what the past decade has seen from the Internet giant.
— MAJOR SETTLEMENT —
PricewaterhouseCoopers will pay $25 million to settle charges over altering financial reports. The company will also be barred from consulting for new bank clients for two years.
-- NEWS WITH WHEELS --
— The Obama administration will back new technology that would allow cars and trucks to "talk" to one another, a system intended to stop collisions on the roads.
— Though traditionally valued for its safety ratings, automaker Volvo said it will focus again on automotive safety, which includes installing crash-avoidance technology in its models. Volvo, which is now owned by a Chinese billionaire, has seen sales slide since its 2007 peak.
— MORE THAN A BUCK —
Dollar General has started a bidding war for Family Dollar, offering nearly $9 billion for the chain of discount stores. The offer comes a month after competitor Dollar Tree offered $8.5 billion for Family Dollar.
-- FASTER FOOD —
At a Manhattan event, chefs and execs from McDonald's hosted food writers in hopes of showing off creative menu items that may help the struggling fast food company shake off its junk food image. That's easier said than done.
-- ON A HIGH NOTE —
New York City's famed Metropolitan Opera struck tentative labor deals with two of the venue's largest unions, Local 802 of the musicians' union and the American Guild of Musical Artists. The midtown institution must still negotiate with 10 other unions to avoid a strike.
-- IT'S THE ECONOMY —
U.S. home builder sentiment rose in August, showing continued confidence in the rebounding real estate market.
-- THAT'S ALL? --
Start saving. According to the U.S. Agriculture Department, it costs more than $245,000 to raise a child. As for New Yorkers (and others in urban Northeast areas) that cost jumps to $282,000. Compare that with 1960, when it cost about $25,000 a year to raise a child, or $198,560 in 2013 dollars.
-- BOTTOMS UP —
Take that, Scotch. Kentucky bourbon makers say production is nearly at a 50-year high at 1.2 million barrels in 2013. Much of the spike comes from international demand from places such as China, though production is still in Kentucky, which makes 95 percent of the world's bourbon.
-- TECH BITES --
— Google has started to take its driverless cars for test drives and, according to one Reuters reviewer, the car works, it just doesn't look so great yet.
— Aiming to compete with Apple commonly seen as the more design-focused of the consumer tech companies, Microsoft has begun to place more emphasis on the look and feel of its products by more than doubling the number of designers it has on staff.
-- THE MARKETS —
Global markets rebounded Monday after tension in Ukraine caused trading to slide on Friday. Oil is trading at its lowest level since April.