Dec 20 - The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Cable-equipment maker Arris Group Inc has agreed to acquire Motorola solutions Inc’s set-top box business from Google Inc in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $2.35 billion. ()
* The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a preliminary ruling against Apple Inc’s “pinch-to-zoom” patent, which Apple used as a cornerstone of its case against Samsung Electronics Co. ()
* U.S., UK and Swiss authorities alleged a vast conspiracy led by UBS AG to rig interest rates tied to trillions of dollars in loans and other financial products, indicating the practice was far more pervasive than previously known. UBS agreed to pay about $1.5 billion to settle charges. ()
* NYSE Euronext is in talks to sell itself to rival IntercontinentalExchange Inc in a deal that may end more than two centuries of independence for the Big Board, one of Wall Street’s most enduring symbols of American capitalism. ()
* General Motors Co took its biggest step yet to escape the shadow of bankruptcy and a government bailout, saying it would spend $5.5 billion to buy a chunk of its stock held by the U.S. Treasury, which now plans to unwind itself from the auto maker within the next year or so. ()
* Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have lost more than $3 billion as a result of banks’ alleged manipulation of a key interest rate, according to an internal report by a federal watchdog sent to the mortgage companies’ regulator. ()
* Knight Capital Group Inc’s takeover by rival Getco LLC, confirmed on Wednesday, creates a brokerage powerhouse with control over a large chunk of all U.S. stock trades. ()
* Yum Brands Inc is facing increasing challenges in China after the Beijing-controlled national television broadcaster criticized the company’s KFC chain over alleged improper use of antibiotics in chickens supplied by Chinese companies. ()
* Eastman Kodak Co has agreed to sell a portfolio of patents covering digital photography and Web-based photo applications for about $525 million, in a deal that brought together a Who’s Who of the global technology industry. ()
* FedEx Corp said that economic weakness dragged down its quarterly results as airfreight customers continued to opt for lower-price shipping. The company’s profit also took a hit from Hurricane Sandy. ()
* Videogame maker THQ Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and said its assets will be acquired by affiliates of private equity firm Clearlake Capital Group LP in a roughly $60 million deal. ()
* U.S. regulators broadened decade-old rules governing children’s privacy online to cover new areas like smartphones, but amid pressure from the technology industry backed away from proposals that could have made companies like Facebook Inc and Apple Inc more responsible for violations.