- - Sunday, December 23, 2012


LOS ANGELES — Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. said Friday that the news and publishing unit it plans to spin off next year posted a $2 billion net loss in the fiscal year through June, mainly because of one-time charges and restructuring costs in its newspaper division.

The details of the split were revealed Friday in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. It confirmed investors’ suspicions that the spun-off company — to be known as News Corp. — will be smaller and less profitable than the TV and movie business that will form Fox Group Inc.


Groupon buys online service Commerce Interface

CHICAGO — Online deals company Groupon says it will buy online retail manager CommerceInterface for an undisclosed amount.

Groupon said Friday that the acquisition of the Salt Lake City-based company will help it manage Groupon Goods, an e-commerce business that sells products from thousands of vendors.

CommerceInterface no longer will work with other customers that will transition to another service over the next six months.

Groupon shares rose 3 cents to close Friday at $4.82.


Iranian oil minister says sanctions have been overcome

TEHRAN | Iran’s oil minister said Sunday that his country has successfully overcome sanctions on the sale of its oil, state TV reported.

The United Nations and Western nations have imposed tough economic sanctions on Iran to try to persuade it to stop its uranium enrichment project, including a European Union ban on oil imports, but Iran remains defiant.

Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi that the industry was in “bad shape” about two months ago because of the oil embargo, “but resorting to planning in the oil industry, we left the bottleneck behind, almost.” The EU imposed its embargo in July.

Mr. Ghasemi said Iran’s oil sector would be able to export its oil to the “farthest spots” around the world.

He also said that Iran has set up its own insurance for oil tankers after Western companies refused to cover them.


Burger King starts return to France after 1997 pullout

PARIS | For the first time in 15 years, Burger King served its flame-grilled Whoppers in France, a country better known for its gastronomy than fast food.

Burger King Worldwide opened a restaurant at Marseille airport on Saturday, returning to France thanks to an agreement with Autogrill, which operates restaurants at highway service stations.

The burger chain, the world’s second-biggest behind McDonald’s, closed its 39 French restaurants in 1997 because they were not profitable. Ironically, France is McDonald’s second most profitable market, after the U.S.

Burger King says its next restaurant is planned at a highway service station in Champagne in the first half of next year.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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