Today in the Fortune 500: Apple’s iPad 2 reviews, News Corp.’s British media takeover and BP execs miss out on bonuses

March 3, 2011, 7:53 PM UTC
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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

NOT SHOCKING, BUT SOLID seems to be the consensus from analysts on Apple’s (AAPL) new iPad 2, revealed yesterday by CEO Steve Jobs. The new device follows the traditional path of second-generation Apple products–it’s thinner, faster, cheaper and it’s going to keep the competition on its toes. [Fortune]

NEWS CORP. CANNOT CONTROL THE BRITISH MEDIA in its entirety. The media company has been having trouble getting approval for its attempt to buy the remaining 61% of British Sky Broadcasting that News Corp. (NWS) doesn’t already own. To get the all clear from the British government, News Corporation will probably have to spin off its Sky News channel, so news viewers in the UK can access some non-News Corp. content. [New York Times]

BP’S BEST DECISION YET ABOUT MACONDO The oil company announced that none of the 2010 directors responsible for operations in the Gulf of Mexico will receive bonuses this year, probably because rewarding the lack of leadership that led to the oil spill would be awkward.

Those missing out on bonuses include former CEO Tony Hayward, former head of Exploration and Production Andy Inglis and BP’s (BP) new CEO Robert Dudley. Not that Dudley will be cash-strapped–his salary increased to $1.75 million from $750,000 in 2010 when he took charge of the company. [Wall Street Journal]

RETAIL IS RESIZING Big-box stores across the country are splitting into smaller spaces, selling real estate to other companies and rethinking their inventory. For example: A North Carolina Sears (SHLD) has sold space to Whole Foods, Home Depot (HD) has sold portions of its parking lots to auto repair shops and Best Buy (BBY) is adding 150 Best Buy Mobile locations instead of growing its bix-box stores. [Wall Street Journal]

WE NEVER THOUGHT THEY’D ACTUALLY PAY US BACK, the Treasury’s acting assistant secretary for financial stability, Tim Massad seemed to say about AIG (AIG).  AIG sold its share of MetLife on Wednesday for about $9.6 billion, which the company will put towards paying back $18.2 billion it owes the U.S. Treasury. Massad said, “we are optimistic about the prospects that taxpayers will recover every dollar invested in A.I.G. — something that many thought would be impossible when these investments were first made.” [New York Times]

EV SALES START SLOW The electric vehicle market hasn’t been primed yet, according to GM, which attributes its poor EV sales numbers in February to the fact that production has been geared towards getting demo vehicles to dealerships, not filling up lots. Both GM (GM) and Nissan, the major automakers leading the electric vehicle charge, expect sales numbers to pick up later this year. [Fast Company]