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BEYOND TAMPA BAY

LONGTIME JAPANESE RIVALS SONY AND PANASONIC are working together to develop next-generation TV panels called OLEDs, which deliver very clear, vivid imagery, as they try to catch up with South Korea's Samsung Electronics. The companies said Monday they will share core technologies to develop OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, panels, aiming for low-cost mass production by 2013. Samsung is planning to start selling TVs with big OLED screens later this year.

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MICROSOFT is paying $1.2 billion to buy Yammer, an Internet startup that has built a social network similar to Facebook for the business world, which has more than 5 million corporate users. The acquisition represents Microsoft's latest attempt to adapt to a major shift in the technology industry, one that is fueling demand for more Internet services and social networking tools. That shift is threatening to weaken Microsoft's position as the world's largest software maker.

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THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT said Monday that sales of new U.S. homes grew 7.6 percent in May from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000 homes. That's the best pace since April 2010, the last month that buyers could qualify for a federal home buying tax credit. Even with the gains, the pace is less than half the 700,000 that economists consider to be healthy. Though new homes represent less than 20 percent of the housing market, each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue.

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CLIENTS OF J. EZRA MERKIN, a prominent Wall Street hedge fund manager who invested his clients' money in Bernard Madoff's epic Ponzi scheme, will recover more than $400 million under a civil settlement negotiated by the New York state attorney general's office. Merkin, whose funds lost roughly $1.2 billion when Madoff's fraud collapsed in December 2008, has agreed to pay $405 million over three years to compensate his investors.

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"The office of the president as a single person doesn't have as much influence as we generally attribute to them."

JEFF GUERTIN, a Bedford, N.H., mechanical engineer, in an Associated Press-GfK poll in which six in 10 responders said that the winner of November's presidential election will have little or no impact on unemployment

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THE BOTTOM LINE: Washington Post managing editor Elizabeth Spayd, first woman to serve in that role at the paper, plans to step down at the end of the year ...Nissan to spend up to $800 million on a new factory in China's northeast ...Hawaii public utilities agency approves the sale of 98% of Lanai to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, clearing way for deal to close this week

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