Afternoon Roundup: Today's Top Stories


AtThe Motley Fool, we know our readers like to be informed. We have scouted out today's most relevant news items and brought them to you all on one page. We hope you find this midday edition informative and useful.

When Larry Page assumed the position as Google's (NAS: GOOG) CEO he said that he would shake down the company to make the decision-making process faster. But, Page has recently found many obstacles in this crusade. Since he assumed command in April the company has been the target of an antitrust investigation, engaged in a patent battle with other tech companies, and caught up in a series of deals in the industry that pushed the company to buy Motorola Mobility (NYS: MMI) . The most recent obstacle, however, has to do with the settlement of the company's ongoing lawsuit related to Google's ad practices, which allowed illegal pharmacies to advertise on its search engine. Federal prosecutors said Page had knowledge of this ongoing practice and did nothing to prevent it. The allegations come after the company paid $500 million to avoid criminal charges. The company refused to comment.

Though Page has seen many bumps on the road, the company continues to perform satisfactorily -- business is booming with their Chrome browser, Android software, and the release of Google+. Read more at TheWall Street Journal.

After being the target of many takeover bids the past year, Brisbane-based MacArthur finally bowed to a bid by ArcelorMittal (NYS: MT) and Peabody Energy (NYS: BTU) . The deal values the company at $5.2 billion. Steelmakers actively courted MacArthur, which specializes in producing pulverized coal, making the deal a coveted acquisition for the parties involved.

But, the company did not sell easily. Last month, the company rejected a bid by ArcelorMittal and Peabody for $15.50 a share. The pair attempted to win over shareholders directly, but eventually opted to offer $16 per share -- a 44% premium on the closing price a day before the initial offering. The two companies are looking for at least 50.01% of the shares. ArcelorMittal already owns a 16% stake on MacArthur stock. Read more atDealbook.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. objected to Bank of America's (NYS: BAC) proposed $8.5 billion bond-mortgage settlement with investors. The FDIC, which owns securities that would be covered by the deal, said it did not have enough information about it to evaluate the accord. In the settlement, Bank of America would pay $8.5 billion to resolve claims from investors in Countrywide Financial Corp., a company owned by the bank. The settlement was drawn up with help of some institutional investors including BlackRock (NYS: BLK) and Pacific Investment Management. In November, the trustee, Bank of New York Mellon, asked a New York judge to approve the settlement. If the deal falls through the bank would have to go back to the negotiating table and incur further costs, which could be detrimental. Read more atBloomberg.

With disheartening consumer confidence results for August -- the lowest in two years -- the stock market took a dip in early morning trading before rebounding. Experts said the consumer confidence report comes as no surprise considering what the economy has been through in the past month. Read more atReuters.

So there you have it, the top financial stories for this afternoon. If you are interested in getting all the news and commentary on these stocks sign up for My Watchlisthere-- its free!

At the time thisarticle was published Michelle Zayed doesn't own any stocks mentioned.The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Google.Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google and BlackRock. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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