Qwest Communications International Inc. may have trouble finding a buyer for its nationwide fiber-optic network because the recession has dried up sources of funding, Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Christopher King said. Qwest is exploring a possible sale, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, listing AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. as potential acquirers. The network may fetch as much as $3 billion, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter. AT&T and Verizon may shy away from bidding because of antitrust and financing concerns, King said.

Fidelity National to buy Metavante

Fidelity National Information Services Inc. said Wednesday it will acquire Metavante Technologies Inc. in an all-stock deal valued at about $2.94 billion. Fidelity National, Jacksonville, Fla., provides transaction processing, card issuer and outsourcing services for more than 14,000 financial institutions. Milwaukee-based Metavante provides banking and payments technologies for about 8,000 financial firms. The deal is expected to close during the third quarter.

GMAC to waive fees, increase loan funds GMAC Financial Services, General Motors' financing arm, said Wednesday it will temporarily waive some dealer fees and make $5 billion available for loans to an expanded pool of potential car buyers in a bid to halt the extended slide in U.S. vehicle sales. Car dealers nationwide have been hammered by low consumer confidence and worries among potential buyers about the future of the U.S. auto industry. Low rates boost mortgage applications

Mortgage applications continued to rise last week, as low interest rates encouraged homeowners to refinance. The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday its weekly application index climbed 3 percent for the week ended March 27. The index was 1,194.4, up from 1,159.4 a week earlier. Nearly 80 percent of applications came from borrowers seeking to refinance home loans at lower rates, rather than to purchase homes.

Delta carrier grounds 60 regional jets

Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA), a unit of SkyWest Inc. and one of nine regional carriers for Delta Air Lines Inc., said Wednesday it grounded 60 of its 112 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 jets after an internal audit raised safety concerns. The groundings, which represent nearly 40 percent of ASA's total fleet, caused scattered flight cancellations throughout the day. Company spokeswoman Kate Modolo said the carrier hoped to have all the planes returned to service by 7 tonight.

RIM opens BlackBerry App World

Research in Motion (RIM), maker of BlackBerry telephones, launched its one-stop shop for add-on applications on Wednesday. BlackBerry App World is available as a free download from RIM's website, with 1,000 applications. Users need an account with eBay Inc.'s PayPal payment service and a BlackBerry with a trackball or touch screen.

Japan offers jobless foreigners air fare home

Japan is offering $3,000 for a plane ticket home to some foreigners who have lost their jobs. The program, which began Wednesday, applies only to several hundred thousand South Americans of Japanese descent on special visas for factory work. The government's motivation appears to be to help workers get home, ease pressure on the domestic labor market and potentially get thousands off unemployment rolls.

French workers free four Caterpillar bosses

French workers facing steep layoffs at a Caterpillar factory freed four bosses they had been holding at the U.S. manufacturer's plant in the Alps to protest the job cuts. Escorted by police and protected by union security, the four managers were able to leave their offices late Wednesday morning, more than 24 hours after they were detained.