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Business briefs

Colleges could lose funding over music, movie swapping

Colleges and universities that don't do enough to combat the illegal swapping of "Avatar" or Lady Gaga over their computer networks are putting themselves at risk of losing federal funding. A provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 that took effect Thursday makes schools a reluctant ally in the entertainment industry's campaign to stamp out unauthorized distribution of copyrighted music, movies and TV shows.

Blockbuster stock split nixed; trading of shares halted

Blockbuster Inc., the money-losing video-rental chain, said in a regulatory filing Thursday shareholders rejected a proposal for a reverse split of the shares needed to boost the price and comply with New York Stock Exchange listing requirements. Blockbuster shares were halted Thursday. They were last quoted at 23 cents, down about 1 cent.

Treasury sells Citigroup shares, raises $10.5B

The Treasury Department said Thursday it raised $10.5 billion from the sale of 2.6 billion shares of Citigroup stock it received as part of the government's rescue of the bank. The government sold the shares at a profit as it seeks to recoup the costs of the $700-billion financial bailout in 2008.

Worries send stocks down

Stocks began the third quarter with another loss after reports on jobs, housing and manufacturing raised investors' worries. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 41.49 points, or 0.4 percent, to 9,732.53, its lowest since October 2009. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 3.34, or 0.3 percent, to 1,027.37. The Nasdaq composite index fell 7.88, or 0.4 percent, to 2,101.36.

New Amazon Kindle price cut

Online retailer Inc. said Thursday it is introducing a new version of its higher-end Kindle at a lower price as competition among electronic-book readers intensifies. It will be sold for $379, about 23 percent less than the current version. The device can be pre-ordered now and will ship on July 7.

Google to buy travel tech firm

Google Inc. plans to buy travel technology company ITA Software Inc. in a $700-million deal that would provide the Internet search leader with more comprehensive information about airline flights. The all-cash deal announced Thursday could signal Google's intention to mount a challenge to other online travel services such as Expedia and Orbitz.

From staff and wire reports


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