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TARP watchdog stepping down

Neil Barofsky, the government's top watchdog over the financial bailouts, has told President Barack Obama that he will step down March 30. Barofsky is special inspector general for the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. He blasted the Treasury Department in a series of audits of the bailout fund that pointed out management problems. His investigations led to 14 criminal fraud convictions for bankers. Barofsky was nominated by then-President George W. Bush in November 2008.

Warning about fare displays

Sabre Holdings Corp., Expedia Inc. and two other online travel companies have been warned by U.S. regulators against showing bias in displays of fare and flight information amid Sabre's data dispute with American Airlines. Such actions would violate laws against unfair and deceptive trade practices and could warrant enforcement action if they continue, the Transportation Department wrote on Feb. 1 to Sabre, data distributors Travelport Ltd. and Amadeus IT Holding SA; and online travel agents Expedia, Orbitz Worldwide Inc. and Travelocity. The letter opened a new front in the dispute over American's use of its own technology to send information to travel agents instead of relying on distributors such as Sabre.

Navy contractor cuts full staff

A Georgia-based Navy contractor has laid off its entire staff after federal prosecutors in Rhode Island accused its founder of participating in a $10-million kickback and bribery scheme. Wayne King, acting chief executive of Roswell, Ga.-based Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow, told workers in an e-mail that the company's assets had been frozen and it could no longer operate.

EchoStar buys Hughes for $1.3B

EchoStar Corp. will buy satellite broadband Internet services company Hughes Communications Inc. for about $1.34 billion, the company said Monday. EchoStar makes equipment for satellite TV providers. The companies expect the acquisition to close later this year.

From wire reports

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