Amazon.com founder Bezos to buy Washington Post

WASHINGTON (AP) Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is buying The Washington Post and other newspapers for $250 million.

The longtime publisher, The Washington Post Co., announced the deal Monday. Bezos is buying the paper as an individual. Amazon.com Inc. is not involved.

Washington Post chairman and CEO Donald Graham called Bezos a "uniquely good new owner." He said the decision was made after years of newspaper industry challenges. The company, which owns the Kaplan education business and several TV stations, will change its name but didn't say what the new name will be.

Bezos said in a statement that he understands the Post's "critical role" in Washington and said its values won't change.


All-coach JetBlue Airways adds a first class cabin

NEW YORK (AP) JetBlue, known for shuttling vacationers from Northeast cities to the warmth of Florida and the Caribbean, is making a play for corporate road warriors.

Starting next year, the all-coach airline plans to offer 16 lie-flat seats on flights between New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco. It's the first time the egalitarian carrier will have a second class of service.

The transcontinental routes are the most profitable and highly contested domestic markets for airlines. Business class tickets frequently sell for $4,000 roundtrip. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are all in the process of putting lie-flat beds in their premium cabins on those routes. Virgin America, which also flies from coast to coast, has a traditional first class cabin with larger seats.


LME, Goldman sued over aluminum storage

HONG KONG (AP) The London Metal Exchange and Goldman Sachs are being sued in a U.S. court over alleged anti-competitive and monopolistic behavior in aluminum storage.

Wall Street banks are facing increased scrutiny of their involvement in businesses that store and transport commodities such as oil and aluminum. And a growing number of buyers have complained about rising metal prices stemming from long waiting times at warehouses.

The LME and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are named as co-defendants in the suit alleging "anti-competitive and monopolistic behavior in the warehousing market in connection with aluminum prices."

The lawsuit was filed by lead plaintiff Superior Extrusion Inc., a maker of aluminum tubing and beams.

LME's owner, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd., said in a statement that it will fight the class-action lawsuit, which its management believes is without merit.


Britt proposes CBS be sold 'a la carte'

LOS ANGELES (AP) Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt has offered to end a four-day blackout of CBS stations, saying the cable operator would allow CBS to sell its stations' signal "a la carte" to consumers instead of being packaged with other channels.

In a letter released to the media, Britt says that rather than debating the point, the method would allow "customers to decide for themselves how much value they ascribe to CBS programming."

CBS signals have been blacked out to some 3 million Time Warner Cable subscribers in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas in a dispute over how much the cable operator has to pay for CBS programming.


European watchdog approves US Airways, AMR merger

AMSTERDAM (AP) European authorities have cleared US Airways Group Inc.'s proposed merger with American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp. on the condition that they give up one slot at London's Heathrow airport and take steps to foster competition on the London-Philadelphia route.

The merger and restructuring plan, which would create the world's biggest airline, must still be approved by a U.S. federal judge before AMR can emerge from bankruptcy, with a hearing expected Aug. 15.

"This represents one of the final milestones on our path to becoming the new American Airlines," said AMR CEO Tom Horton.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice is still reviewing the deal amid complaints that it could lead to reduced competition and higher fares in the U.S.


BP cites new fraud allegations in spill settlement

NEW ORLEANS (AP) BP says it has uncovered new allegations of fraud and conflicts of interest inside the settlement program that has awarded billions of dollars to Gulf Coast businesses and residents following the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a federal court filing Monday, BP renewed its request for a judge to temporarily suspend settlement payments while former FBI Director Louis Freeh leads an independent investigation of the court-supervised settlement program.

BP says at least two lawyers who have ruled on appeals of disputed settlement awards were partners at law firms that have represented claimants.

BP also says it recently learned of allegations that someone employed by the settlement program in Mobile, Ala., helped people submit fraudulent claims in exchange for a portion of the awards.


Drake's cakes to return next month

NEW YORK (AP) Twinkies are already back on shelves and now the new owners of Drake's cakes say Coffee Cakes, Devil Dogs, Ring Dings and Yodels will return next month.

A spokesman for McKee Foods Corp. said the company plans to bring back the snack cakes in the third week of September. The company is still deciding whether to bring back Funny Bones.

McKee, which makes Little Debbie snack cakes, snapped up Drake's cakes from rival Hostess Brands after the company went out of business last year. Twinkies, CupCakes and other snacks were purchased by a pair of investment firms, Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co., which owns Pabst beer.


TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) Chrysler's manufacturing chief said Monday that a new midsize car should hit dealerships on time next year, following costly delays with recent product launches.

Vice President Mauro Pino said the new model, a sorely needed replacement for the aging Chrysler 200, should reach showrooms as scheduled in the first quarter. The new car is scheduled to reach dealerships sometime in the first quarter of 2014.

Pino said Chrysler has learned from problems with other product launches.


By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 46.23 points to close at 15,612.13. The S&P 500 index slipped 2.53 points to close at 1,707.14 on Monday. The Nasdaq composite index rose 3.36 points to 3,692.95.

Benchmark crude for September delivery fell 38 cents to close at $106.56 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Heating oil fell 2 cents to $3.05 a gallon. Natural gas fell 3 cents to $3.32 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline fell 4 cents to $2.95 a gallon.

Brent crude, traded on the ICE Futures exchange in London, fell 25 cents to $108.70 per barrel.