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Business

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Briefs

Barnes & Noble drops Nook app

Barnes & Noble will stop offering a stand-alone Nook app for Windows and instead will deliver Nook media to Microsoft’s Consumer Reader app.

Microsoft, which took a 6.8 percent stake in the Nook unit in 2012, agreed to an updated revenue sharing plan with Barnes & Noble. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday, Barnes & Noble said it will discontinue distributing the Nook Windows app and instead will cooperate with Microsoft to move users to the Microsoft Consumer Reader.

Speculation has been running high about what Barnes & Noble plans for the future of Nook. The New York bookstore chain has invested heavily in its e-book and e-book reader unit, but the unit has not been profitable. Still, Barnes & Noble has said it plans to launch a new Nook e-reader in coming months.

An investment firm offered to buy 51 percent of the company for about $672 million this month, with plans to spin off Nook, but Barnes & Noble rebuffed that offer.

Producer prices dip 0.1 percent in February

The prices companies receive for their goods and services fell slightly in February, the latest sign that inflation is tame.

The producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, dropped 0.1 percent in February, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s the first decline since November. A sharp fall in price markups by wholesalers and retailers pushed down the index.

Producer prices rose 0.9 percent from 12 months ago. That’s the smallest 12-month increase since last May.

Wholesale food and energy prices increased, as did the cost of pharmaceuticals. Excluding the volatile categories of food, energy and retailer and wholesaler profit margins, core prices ticked up 0.1 percent.

The data also reflect aggressive discounting by clothing and shoe stores. Their profit margins fell 9.3 percent, the steepest on record. Gas stations and grocery stores also reduced their markups.

FDIC sues 16 banks that set global rate

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has sued 16 banks that set a key global interest rate, accusing them of fraud and conspiring to keep the rate low to enrich themselves.

The banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase in the U.S., are among the world’s largest.

The FDIC alleges that the banks rigged the London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR, from August 2007 to at least mid-2011. The LIBOR affects trillions of dollars in contracts around the world, including mortgages, bonds and consumer loans.

Quiznos files for bankruptcy protection

Quiznos has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reduce its debt by more than $400 million after the chain lost ground to competitors.

The toasted sandwich company, based in Denver, said Friday that it voluntarily filed to reorganize to implement a prepackaged restructuring plan.

Quiznos says the move won’t affect its customers. The company owns and operates only seven of the nearly 2,100 Quiznos restaurants. The rest are owned and operated by franchisees and aren’t part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

The company says the restructuring plan has been approved by its creditors.

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