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briefs

New-home permits rise in August

The Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne on Friday said there were 75 Allen County residential construction requests in August, compared with 69 permits the same month a year ago.

The average construction price was $238,014 in August, compared with $240,514 in August 2012. Year-to-date figures show 573 permits issued, compared with 475 residential building requests during the same period in 2012, a 20.6 percent increase.

Officials have attributed improving consumer confidence as a reason behind the brisk housing activity.

Ford CEO denies report Microsoft will hire him

The chief executive of Ford Motor Co. says he has no plans to leave the company early after reports that he might be asked to take a leading role at software maker Microsoft Corp.

Ford said last year that Alan Mulally would stay with the company through at least 2014.

The 68-year-old on Friday batted aside talk of an early exit, telling reporters in Berlin that “I absolutely personally love serving Ford and we have no changes planned going forward.”

Apple ordered to modify e-book deals

Looking to force Apple to obey antitrust laws, a judge on Friday ordered the technology giant to modify contracts with publishers to prevent electronic book price fixing and said she will appoint an external compliance monitor to review the company’s antitrust policies and training.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote’s 17-page order came nearly two months after she concluded that Apple Inc. used the popularity of its iTunes store to conspire with publishers to raise e-book prices in 2010.

American Tower buys owner of 5,400 towers

American Tower said Friday that it reached a deal to buy the parent company of Global Tower Partners, which owns about 5,400 cellular towers in the U.S., for about $3.3 billion.

The purchase price includes $3.3 billion in cash, plus the assumption of about $1.5 billion in existing debt.

The companies value the deal at about $4.8 billion.

Global Tower, which is majority owned by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, also owns and operates about 800 properties in the U.S. under third-party communications sites, and has management rights to over 9,000 domestic sites.

In addition, it owns 500 communications sites in Costa Rica.

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