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Afternoon Business Brief

May 10, 2011, 1:12 PM

Afternoon Business Brief
Stock prices are rising today. The market has gotten a morale boost from word of Microsoft's agreement to buy Skype.
  • Microsoft promises that Skype will continue to be available on a range of devices, including those made by rivals.  It has agreed to buy the popular Internet telephone service for $8.5 billion, marking the biggest deal in Microsoft's 36-year history.
  • A new national emergency alert system will be launched in New York City and Washington by the end of the year. It will send messages to cell phones during disasters and emergencies.
  • The government says better weather helped airlines avoid long ground delays in March. It was the fourth month in the last six when no U.S. planes were stuck on the ground for more than three hours. Also, fewer flights were on time than a year ago.
  • Former General Motors Co. CEO Robert Stempel is dead at the age of 77. He was an engineer who led the development of front-wheel drive and the catalytic converter but was ousted in a boardroom coup.

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