Today in the Fortune 500: HP’s former CEO Mark Hurd fights to keep secrets, American Airlines ducks out of Orbitz and a new life for your old Dell.

December 22, 2010, 6:42 PM UTC
DFW American Airlines Departure
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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

RETURN TO SENDER Mark Hurd, former CEO of HP (HPQ), and his legal team are fighting to maintain the secrecy of the letter from former HP contractor Jodie Fisher that prompted Hurd’s resignation. Fisher’s law firm announced plans to publish the letter, which accuses Hurd of violating HP’s sexual harassment policy, in November. [Wall Street Journal]

OUT OF ORBITZ Airline ticket shoppers will no longer be able to search for American Airlines (AMR) on price comparison service Orbitz. The airline announced that it has made its own mechanism to compare plane ticket prices called Direct Connect, and wants to push more ticket purchases to the American Airlines website. [New York Times]

FORTUNE 500 COULD SHARE YOPLAIT WITH FARMER’S CO-OP The race is on for 50% stake in Fench yogurt company Yoplait. Bidders include PepsiCo (PEP) and General Mills (GIS), as well as Nestle and two Chinese companies. Whoever seals the deal will share the company with the owner of the other half of Yoplait, which is Sodiaal Industrie, a French farmer’s cooperative. [Bloomberg]

THE GUTS AND THE GLORY Bailout beneficiary AIG (AIG) seems to have turned a corner, but it’s not all clear from here on out. For example, AIG’s CEO Robert Benmosche is battling cancer, and the remaining core business still has to overcome operational challenges. A report outlines the details of the turnaround. [ABC News]

CONTROVERSY OVER RUNNING CARS OFF MORE CORN Car and engine manufacturers asked the EPA to reconsider allowing a higher concentration of ethanol in gasoline until the regulator could make sure the new cocktail was safe for engines. But what’s questionable for those groups is good for Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), one of the biggest producers of the corn-based fuel additive. [Bloomberg]

DON’T THROW OUT YOUR DELL If you’re planning on trashing an old Dell computer this holiday season, give it a chance at a second life instead. Dell (DELL) has teamed up with Goodwill to create a program called Dell Reconnect that will repurpose old electronics for charity. [Lifehacker]