Business & Finance

The possibility of a government bailout of troubled Mitsu-bishi Motors Corp. was being raised by senior Japanese government officials after its largest shareholder, DaimlerChrysler, stunned the financial world Friday by announcing it would pump no more cash into the company. At least one industry analyst predicted Mitsubishi, which employs more than 43,800 people, would "vanish" if it can't find another partner. DaimlerChrysler had been expected to detail a restructuring plan for Japan's No. 4 automaker that called for billions of dollars in new investment. Instead, Friday's announcement sent Mitsubishi stock into a 25 percent drop on the Tokyo exchange; DaimlerChrysler's shares rose 5.7 percent in Germany and 4.7 percent on the New York Stock Exchange. A DaimlerChrysler executive said its 37 percent stake in Mitsubishi isn't for sale at this time and that the companies would continue to work on joint projects.

Google, the search engine of choice for millions of Internet users, was refusing to say whether it would end months of speculation and file papers this week for an initial public offering (IPO). The speculation became white hot Friday amid reports that the five-year-old privately owned Mountain View, Calif., company may have distributed enough stock options to employees that it falls under a federal securities law requiring its books be opened to the public within 120 days of the close of its business year. That deadline would fall on Friday. Google officials declined to discuss the matter or to comment on the timing of any IPO. Analysts say such an offering easily could generate at least $2 billion in new investment, giving the company a market value of as much as $25 billion.

Tyson Foods Inc. escaped having to pay any financial penalty in its cattle-pricing dispute with ranchers after a federal court cleared the company of manipulation. In Montgomery, Ala., Judge Lyle Strom ruled that evidence presented at trial did not support a jury decision awarding the plaintiffs $1.28 billion in damages. In his initial finding last month, Strom said a penalty of that size would be excessive, but he left open the amount Tyson would have to pay. The ranchers reacted with "deep disappointment" to Friday's ruling and their attorney said they would appeal to a higher court.

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