Schein buys Calif. company

Henry Schein, the Melville-based supplier of dental and health products, said Monday it had acquired Maddox Practice Group, a dental transitions business in California. Terms of the deal, including the purchase price, were not disclosed. Maddox will be incorporated into a division of Henry Schein Financial Services to provide dental practice brokerage services, practice valuation and practice transition planning. -- Lisa Du


Office-store merger rumors

Office supply companies OfficeMax Inc. and Office Depot Inc. are in advanced talks to merge, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. The deal, expected to be a stock-for-stock transaction, could still fall apart, the Journal reported. A spokesperson for each company could not be reached for comment. The office-supply retailers have been hit hard by competition from online retailers and discounters such as Costco and Wal-Mart. A merger could lead to cost savings through consolidation of stores and workforce. Office Depot, based in Boca Raton, Fla., has 1,675 stores worldwide, annual sales of $11.5 billion and 39,000 employees. OfficeMax, based in Naperville, Ill., has 900 stores in the United States and Mexico, $7 billion in sales and 29,000 employees. -- Reuters

'Inbox zero' app has wait list

More than 800,000 people are waiting to access a new iPhone app that aims to transform their email experience by helping them achieve the elusive "inbox zero" -- an empty inbox. The Mailbox app, launched this month, is slowly rolling out invitations to people waiting in line. "The big shift is away from a mobile email client that is a shrunken version of a desktop email client towards a mobile email client focused primarily around processing and triage," said Gentry Underwood, CEO of Palo-Alto-based Orchestra, creator of the app. A key feature lets users "snooze" an email -- defer it and get a reminder. The app currently only works with Gmail.


German recession avoided?

German's central bank says the country's economy is on track to avoid a recession as it shows signs of growth in the first three months of the year. Europe's largest economy shrank 0.6 percent in the last quarter of 2012. Two straight quarters of falling output is a common definition of recession. The Bundesbank said Monday increasing optimism and easing fears about the government debt crisis among the 17 European Union euro countries mean business may become more willing to invest and expand. That means "a plus in total economic production can be expected for the first quarter of 2013."

BBC strike over job cuts

BBC journalists walked off the job Monday in a 24-hour strike to protest job cuts at the broadcaster. Staff mounted picket lines outside of the BBC's studios in central London and around the country. National Union of Journalists general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said poor decisions by BBC leadership were leading to quality journalism being compromised. She said 2,000 jobs are at risk in cost-cutting. The BBC said it had no choice but to meet savings targets that require job cuts. The BBC is funded by a mandatory annual levy of $228 on all households with color TVs. The government froze the fee in 2010. -- AP

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