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Business Highlights

The nation's second-largest TV operator, Time Warner Cable Inc., dropped Current after the deal was confirmed Wednesday, saying the network didn't have enough viewers.

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Google settles on patents, other antitrust claims

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) â¿¿ Google is pledging to license hundreds of key patents to mobile computing rivals under more reasonable terms and curb the use of snippets from other websites in Internet search results in a settlement that ends a high-profile antitrust probe.

In a major victory for Google, the Federal Trade Commission unanimously concluded that there isn't enough evidence to support complaints that Google unfairly favors its own services in search results.

Thursday's announcement caps a 19-month antitrust investigation by the FTC over Google Inc.'s business practices.

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Fed minutes show some concerns on bond purchases

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The Federal Reserve will keep buying bonds indefinitely to try to keep long-term borrowing costs low. It's just not clear how long indefinitely will be.

Minutes of the Fed's last policy meeting show that officials were divided about when to halt the purchases.

Some of the 12 voting members thought the bond purchases would be needed through 2013. Others felt they should be slowed or stopped altogether before year's end. This group worries that the bond buying is keeping rates so low for so long that it could ignite inflation or encourage speculative buying of risky assets.

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US rate on 30-year mortgage slips to 3.34 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages moved closer to record lows this week, a trend that has made home buying more affordable and helped sustain a housing recovery.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan slipped to 3.34 percent from 3.35 percent last week. That's near the 3.31 percent rate reached in November, the lowest on records dating to 1971.

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