Business & Finance

Top athletic shoemaker Nike Inc. agreed to buy Converse for $305 million in cash plus assumed debt Wednesday in a marriage of opposites. Nike is known for costly, high-tech styles while Converse is a 95-year-old company based in North Andover, Mass., that first popularized the canvas basketball sneaker. Fierce rivals in the 1980s, Converse filed for bankruptcy in 2001 and reported $205 million in revenues last year, to Nike's $10.7 billion. Nike is based in Beaverton, Ore.

Tenet Healthcare Corp. was ordered to turn over files on Medicare payments and other financial matters dating back to 1987 Wednesday as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began a formal investigation of the nation's second-largest for-profit hospital chain. The SEC launched an informal probe in November into the Santa Barbara, Calif., company's above-average Medicare rates. A Justice Department lawsuit filed in January accused Tenet of deliberate Medicare overcharges.

French bank Credit Lyonnais would pay a $600 million fine and plead guilty to at least one criminal charge under a fraud settlement proposed by federal prosecutors, The Wall Street Journal reported. Credit Lyonnais has been under investigation since 1999 for its alleged role in the purchase of a failed California life-insurance company's assets, a transaction barred at the time by state and federal law. A deal would avoid a criminal indictment, but talks have stalled over the plea issue, the newspaper said.

Yahoo! Inc. announced it more than doubled its income in the second quarter, the fifth consecutive quarter of profitability for the highly visible Internet firm. Yahoo!, of Sunnyvale, Calif., reported net income of $50.8 million and credited its strong performance to a resurgence in Internet advertising and growth in services to small-to-medium-sized businesses.

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