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Monday business briefs

Major air carriers abandon

plan for fare increases

Major U.S. airlines have dropped an effort to raise fares by up to $16 round-trip after some carriers resisted the increase. American Airlines confirmed Monday that it had dropped a price hike from last week. American spokesman Tim Smith said Delta had pulled the increase even before American did, and Continental and United also retreated.

Ticketmaster-Live Nation

merger OKd by Justice Dept.

The U.S. Justice Department cleared the way Monday for concert promoter Live Nation and ticket-seller Ticketmaster to combine after imposing major conditions meant to create stronger competitors and lower ticket prices for consumers. Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney said Ticketmaster would have to license its ticketing software to competitor Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc. and sell its subsidiary Paciolan to Comcast Corp. subsidiary Comcast-Spectacor. The merged entity would also be under a 10-year court order prohibiting it from retaliating against venues that choose to sign ticket-selling contracts with competitors.

Stocks respond favorably

to news about Fed bossMajor stock indexes rose Monday as momentum shifted in favor of the reappointment of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Investors want Bernanke to remain in control of the Fed and maintain his low interest rate policy. Many traders don't want to see a change because that would bring another set of unknowns for a market already burdened by uncertainty about the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23.88 points, or 0.2 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5.02, or 0.5 percent, to 1,096.78, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 5.51, or 0.3 percent, to 2,210.80.

Sheares gets elected to

Henry Schein Inc. boardMelville-based Henry Schein Inc. has elected a new member, Bradley T. Sheares, to its board of directors, the company said Monday. Schein distributes health care products and services to dental, medical and veterinary offices. Sheares most recently served as chief executive of Reliant Pharmaceuticals Inc., leading that company as it was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline Plc. in December 2007. He is a former chairman of the National Pharmaceutical Council board of directors.

Whitacre aims for stability

as permanent CEO of GM

Ed Whitacre Jr. says the main reason he's taking over as permanent chief executive of General Motors Co. is to bring stability to the top of the troubled automaker, which announced the decision Monday. GM's board asked Whitacre to stay on as chief executive after seven weeks of searching for a successor from the outside. Ron Bloom, who leads the Obama administration's auto task force, called the move "good news for the taxpayers, good news for the company."

From staff and wire reports

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