Business briefs: Rio Tinto to buy Alcan Inc.

Mining giant Rio Tinto (RTP) has offered to buy Canadian aluminum company Alcan Inc. (AL) for $38.1 billion in cash, the companies said Thursday, in a friendly takeover that tops a hostile bid by U.S.-based Alcoa. The bid exceeds a $28 billion offer of cash and stock from Alcoa Inc. that Alcan’s board rejected in May, and would create the world’s largest aluminum company.

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A U.S. appeals court denied a request by Internet broadcasters to delay the imposition of higher music royalty rates, a decision that may force some to shut down. Internet broadcasters say the new rates, which take effect Sunday, could more than double their costs. Music companies sought the increase to raise revenue for labels and artists at a time when overall sales are declining.

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