FCC approves deal

WASHINGTON: US regulators on Friday approved AT&T’s 49 billion acquisition of satellite broadcaster DirecTV, clearing the way for a new powerhouse in broadband and video services. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it approved the plan, announced last year, with conditions drawn up to ensure competition and more deployment of high-speed internet connections. Earlier, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he had circulated an order approving the deal and the Justice Department said it would not block the merger. The deal merges AT&T, which offers internet and television in parts of US and is one of the biggest wireless carriers, with DirecTV’s over 20 million subscribers.

Gemini bitcoin

NEW YORK: Investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss earlier this week filed paperwork to operate a bitcoin exchange called Gemini for both individual and institutional investors in New York state, a spokeswoman said on Friday. The twins, best known for accusing Facebook Inc Founder Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea, want to make the digital currency mainstream in the United States. Unlike conventional money, bitcoin is bought and sold on a peer-to-peer network independent of central control. Bitcoin is not backed by a government or central bank and its value fluctuates according to demand by users. The Winklevoss brothers filed an application on July 21 with the New York State Department of Financial Services to operate as a trust company.

Puda executives fined

WASHINGTON: US securities regulators on Wednesday set fines against two Chinese executives accused of looting formerly US-listed Puda Coal at more than $250 million. The Securities and Exchange Commission set the default judgement against Zhao Ming, Puda’s chairman, and former chief executive Zhu Liping. The agency said the pair already stripped the firm of its main asset before Puda raised $116 million in two US public offerings in 2010. Investors soaked up the offerings based on the potential of Puda’s ostensibly 90 per cent-owned, profit-generating mining subsidiary Shanxi Coal.