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BUSINESS BRIEFLY

French cement company bids for Lafarge North American

PARIS (AP) -- Lafarge SA, the world's largest cement maker, announced today it intends to offer $3 billion for the 47 percent of its North American subsidiary that it does not already own.

The construction materials producer said it will pay $75 for each Lafarge North America share -- a 17 percent premium over their closing price on Friday.

Shares of Lafarge North America rose $16.44, or 25.6 percent, to $80.69 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Lafarge SA's U.S. shares rose $1.03, or 4 percent, to $26.82 in the NYSE.

In the Buffalo Niagara region, Lafarge North America operates plants in Tonawanda, Lancaster, Lockport, Niagara Falls and Buffalo and quarries in Lancaster, Lockport and Niagara Falls.

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E-mail account providers set to charge some senders

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Two of the world's biggest e-mail account providers, Yahoo Inc. and America Online, plan to start charging an optional fee to route e-mail directly to a user's mailbox without first passing through junk mail filters, representatives of both companies said Sunday.

The fees, which would range from 1/4 cent to 1 cent per e-mail, are the latest attempts by the companies to weed out unsolicited ads, commonly called spam, and identity-theft scams. In exchange for paying, e-mail senders will be guaranteed their messages won't be filtered and will bear a seal alerting recipients they're legitimate.

Both companies have long filtered e-mail by searching for keywords commonly contained in spam and fraudulent e-mail.

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Wi-Fi access charges planned

NEW YORK (AP) -- Google Inc. and eBay Inc.'s Skype are investing in a start-up that plans to help hotspot owners charge for Wi-Fi access. The Internet heavyweights were joined by venture capital firms Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital in making a $22 million investment in FON, the Spanish start-up.

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JetBlue to service Bermuda

HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) -- Low-cost airline carrier JetBlue Airways Corp. will offer two daily nonstop flights between Bermuda and New York, the company said.

Flights begin May 4 to the British territory in the Atlantic Ocean. One-way fares start at $129, the New York-based airline said in a statement.

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This week in business

Here are the major business and economic events scheduled for this week:

*Tuesday -- The Federal Reserve will release its report on consumer credit for December.

*Thursday -- The Labor Department will issue weekly jobless claims; Freddie Mac will announce changes in mortgage rates; the Commerce Department will release data on international trade for December; and the Treasury Department will announce the return of 30-year bonds, a debt security discontinued five years ago when the government's finances were in better shape.

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