Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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iPhone 5 launch draws Apple fans worldwide

In a now familiar global ritual, Apple fans jammed shops around the world to pick up the tech juggernaut's latest iPhone.

Eager buyers formed long lines Friday at Apple Inc. stores in Asia, Europe and North America to be among the first to get their hands on the latest version of the smartphone.

For Apple the iPhone introduction is the biggest revenue driver of the year. Analysts expect the company to sell millions of phones in the first few days. This spring iPhone sales slowed from their historical growth rates, apparently because potential buyers were holding off for the arrival of the "5."

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Darden profit rises ahead of Olive Garden revamp

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Darden Restaurants Inc. on Friday reported a better-than-expected profit for its fiscal first quarter as it prepared to revamp the menus for its struggling Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains.

The company also declared a quarterly dividend, sending shares up nearly 5 percent and briefly touching an all-time high.

At Olive Garden, the company's biggest chain, Darden has been trying to boost traffic by focusing on value and adding lighter options to the menu. Drew Madsen, the company's chief operating officer, said the desire for smaller portion sizes is reflected in the growing number of customers who are ordering an appetizer as a meal.

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US, EU approve Universal takeover of EMI

BRUSSELS (AP) â¿¿ Universal Music Group won approval Friday from American and European regulators to buy the famed British music company EMI, including the hugely lucrative Beatles catalogue. But the EU imposed stringent restrictions on the deal, forcing Universal to sell some of EMI's biggest acts, including Coldplay and Pink Floyd.

Universal will also have to sell EMI's classical music divisions, its French and other local branches and labels that are home to Depeche Mode and The Ramones.

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