Natural gas pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners is buying Sunoco in a deal valued at about $5.3 billion.
The acquisition would give Energy Transfer the capability to transport crude and other liquid hydrocarbons that are being produced in greater quantities thanks to the boom in shale drilling. Sunoco's pipelines crisscross the country, connecting the Great Lakes and Northeast to America's refining center along the Gulf Coast.
Microsoft is committing $300 million to the venture with Barnes & Noble. They are working to create a new subsidiary of the bookseller. The two companies are hoping to energize sales of the Nook tablet.
Last fall, a listeria outbreak in cantaloupes traced to a southeastern Colorado farm killed thirty people and sickened dozens more in 28 states. The economic fallout from the tragedy has also been far reaching.