By Shelley DuBois
January 6, 2011

The Fortune 500 comes out just once a year, but the companies on it make headlines every day. Here then are today’s highlights of news and happenings coming from the biggest names in business.

By Shelley DuBois, reporter

THANKS BUT NO THANKS A unit within Goldman Sachs (GS) was given a preview of the $450 million Facebook deal, and an opportunity to bid early. The unit, called Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, respectfully declined. The bank obviously went ahead and bid anyway, but the hesitance of the Capital Partners group could spook some of Goldman’s top investors. [New York Times]

WELL THAT’S AWKWARD Even though Goldman just made the mega-bid for the social media company, Facebook is apparently still banned for Goldman Sachs employees. In Goldman’s defense, the company did get slammed during a Senate hearing earlier this year for some e-klutziness revealing sales of deals the company clearly thought were sub-par. [Fast Company]

SHHHH, THEY’LL NEVER KNOW In a marketing move, AT&T (T) is trying to jump on the 4G bandwagon by simply upping an integer on its existing service, which the company referred to as 3G as recently as September. AT&T’s CEO said that consumers equate the term 4G with connection speed, and AT&T’s is right up there with the competition. What’s in a generation anyway? [Wall Street Journal]

AMERICAN AIRLINES KEEPS ALIENATING THE INTERNET The latest development is that airfare data provider called Sabre will drop information about American Airlines (AMR) flights. Its the most recent event in American Airlines’ attempt to move towards its own “Direct Connect” online ticket sales platform, independent from an outside ticket-sales company. The airline dropped out of Orbitz at the end of 2010. Now Sabre, which owns Travelocity.com,  is ending its contract with American Airlines a month early. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

FEDEX ADDS ROUTE IN ASIA to boost regional trade. FedEx [FDX]  is tacking on a direct route between India and southern China. The company has said it’s responding to booming trade growth between the two markets. [Wall Street Journal]

THE FDA’S NICOTINE FIX The federal regulator will begin monitoring changes in tobacco products in an attempt to keep the most addictive kind off the market. The FDA will review all tobacco products introduced to the market since 2007, which could have a major impact on tobacco powerhouse Altria Group (MO). [Bloomberg Businessweek]

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