Justice may challenge Google

over ITA Software acquisition

The Justice Department is preparing for a possible antitrust lawsuit to stop Google's $700 million acquisition of ITA Software, according to people familiar with the situation. Google, owner of the world's most popular search engine, announced in July its plans to acquire ITA, which provides online airline flight and ticket information. Google triggered the potential suit last month by invoking a provision of federal law that forces the government to decide within 30 days whether to challenge the deal, according to the sources. Adam Kovacevich, a Google spokesman, declined to comment on the deadline or the department's preparation.

Treasury launches debit-card

program for tax refunds

The Treasury Department wants to say goodbye to the paper tax-refund check, and yesterday launched a pilot program to let low- and moderate-income taxpayers receive their money on a debit card. Next week, the agency will send letters to 600,000 taxpayers offering them the prepaid debit card. In 2010, the agency said it spent $40 million to mail about 45 million paper checks.

Frequency Electronics says it

has a $12M satellite contract

Frequency Electronics Inc. of Uniondale has announced that it has a federal contract extension valued at about $12 million for a "high capacity, secure communications satellite program." The new contract follows a previous $8-million multiyear deal involving the satellite master timing system. Frequency has supplied such devices for numerous U.S. government space projects, including the shuttle and the Pioneer Venus and Galileo probes.- Joseph Mallia

Jobless claims help sink stocks

Stocks dipped yesterday after a report found that 35,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total to 445,000, the highest level since October and above what economists had predicted. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 23.54 points, or 0.2 percent, to 11,731.90. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 2.20, or 0.2 percent, to 1,283.76. The Nasdaq composite lost 2.04, or 0.1 percent, to 2,735.29.

From staff and wire reports

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