MetLife to settle multistate case for $438M

Life insurance giant MetLife Inc. will shell out more than $400 million to settle a multistate probe into its alleged failure to pay death benefits to beneficiaries. The company said it will pay out about $438 million in the next 17 years, with $188 million going out to beneficiaries this year. Insurance regulators from dozens of states have accused the company of delaying or withholding life insurance payments to many of its policyholders. The funds will either be sent on to beneficiaries of deceased MetLife policyholders or stored in state coffers as unclaimed property. MetLife will also cover states' costs of finding beneficiaries and sending them the overdue benefits.

Google Street View adds 3 cities in Israel

After months of consultations with Israeli security officials, Google has launched its Street View service in the nation's three largest cities: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. The new Street View provides images of ordinary life, contested areas and religious sites in the Holy Land. Due to security issues, areas around several sensitive sites, such as the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, are blurred out. Google Street View is available in more than 30 countries. It was held up in Israel by concerns that images of its streets could be used by terrorists.

Microsoft sells passel of patents to Facebook

Microsoft Corp., which just bought patents from AOL Inc. for more than $1 billion, is now selling most of them to Facebook Inc. for $550 million. The two companies said Monday that Facebook is buying about 650 of the 925 patents and patent applications. Facebook will get a license to use the rest of the patents. Microsoft will also get a license to use the patents that Facebook is buying.

American might spare 3,000 union jobs

American Airlines asked a bankruptcy judge to void labor agreements with its three unions, although it signaled that the carrier had made progress in talks with one of those unions, representing its mechanics, that might result in fewer job cuts than American initially sought. Since the airline's parent, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy court protection in November, it outlined plans to shed more than 13,000 jobs, including 9,000 from the Transport Workers Union that which represents mechanics and ground workers. But the airline has a tentative accord with the TWU that could save around 3,000 jobs from being cut, a person familiar with the agreement said Monday.

China might buy corn from U.S.

China's state grain traders may purchase corn from the U.S. if prices fall to $5.50 per bushel, the China National Grain & Oils Information Center said. "While state companies have a lot of import quotas, they will buy at a price which ensures profits," the center said Monday. Chicago corn traded at $6.025 per bushel at 6:05 p.m. Beijing time.

FROM NEWS SERVICES