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News In Brief

The US economy hasn't quite kept pace with the rate of company profits so far this year, but still is chugging along at a vigorous clip, the Commerce Department said. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, grew at a revised 4.1 percent rate in the first quarter. That was down from the 4.5 percent previously reported and 1.5 percent below the rate for the final quarter of last year. Meanwhile, corporate profits for the January-March period grew by 4.3 percent after taxes, the largest rate of increase since 7.9 percent in the first quarter of 1995.

Bidding to become "the largest outdoor media company in the world," CBS-owned Infinity Broadcasting said it will acquire the billboard company Outdoor Systems Inc. for $6.5 billion. The stock-swap deal also will involve assumption of $1.8 billion in debt. Infinity's existing outdoor-advertising unit, TDI, operates worldwide. Outdoor Systems mounts display ads in 147 markets in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

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