News In Brief
Texas Instruments (TI) announced it would buy Burr-Brown Corp. in a stock deal worth $7.6 billion, bolstering its position as the No. 1 maker of computer chips for mobile phones and Internet audio devices. Burr-Brown, based in Tucson, Ariz., specializes in data converters, which change analog signals such as sound to digital form and then back to analog. The technology will complement TI's premier product, digital signal processors, which are used in about 70 percent of digital wireless phones, the Dallas-based company said. Before the acquisition, TI had planned to launch about 280 analog chip products this year, but it now expects the number to be more than 400, the firm said.
One of the US's biggest life-insurance companies, American General Life & Accident, agreed to pay holders of 9.1 million policies a total of $206 million to settle charges of fraud and racial discrimination. The firm had been faced with a national investigation by insurance commissioners and a class-action lawsuit in federal court over the practices of several smaller carriers it had purchased. Those companies had a dual pricing system based on race - a system its parent company may not have been aware of. Under the settlement, the Nashville, Tenn.-based company also will pay $2 million to the NAACP and $7.5 million in penalties to several states.
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