Today in the Fortune 500: Google will offer “channels” on YouTube, GE to build the largest U.S. solar panel plant and Goldman Sachs wants to buy its Australian joint venture

April 7, 2011, 7:10 PM UTC
Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

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

YOUTUBE WANTS TO COMPETE WITH CABLE Google (GOOG) is working on a YouTube redesign that would offer videos in certain categories, such as art and sports, as “channels” on its homepage. The new organization is part of YouTube’s effort to compete with cable as more and more users want to watch online videos on their televisions. [Wall Street Journal]

GE’S SOLAR TAKEOVER General Electric plans to build the largest plant that makes photovoltaic solar panels in the United States; it should start producing in 2013. If GE (GE) eventually does become a solar technology leader, it could be at the expense of small solar startups. [New York Times]

GOLDMAN SACHS DOWN UNDER Goldman Sachs wants to buy the rest of its joint venture in Australia and New Zealand called Goldman Sachs & Partners Australia Group Holdings. Goldman (GS) hasn’t disclosed how much the deal will cost, but the Australian Financial Review values it at up to $1.25 billion.  [New York Times]

IT’S BEEN A ROUGH RIDE for the biofuels industry ever since ethanol producers took a hit during the financial crisis. Still, Shell (RDSA) is banking that the industry will flourish. The oil company has made more investments in biofuels than most of its competitors–one of the most significant investments being a $12 billion joint venture with Brazilian sugar-cane-ethanol producer Cosan. [Wall Street Journal]

OUT OF INDONESIA Indonesia’s central bank is looking into allegations of fraud against Citigroup (C) executives, one of whom may have stolen $1.9 million from three different clients in 2009 and 2010. As a result, Citigroup is temporarily banned from taking on wealth management clients in Indonesia.  [Bloomberg]

ROBOCAR Toyota and Microsoft (MSFT) announced a partnership to build what they call the “ultimate mobile device.” They’re talking about cars–specifically Toyota’s hybrid and plug-in vehicles–which will be powered by a global cloud platform that both companies will build to support next-generation telecommunication and information technology in automobiles.  [Fast Company]