The super-rich got an early Christmas gift in the $858 billion tax package that President Obama signed into law on Friday. On top of a two-year extension of Bush-era income tax rates, the wealthiest Americans dodged an estate tax that was set to jump up from zero to 55% for individuals worth more than $1 million. Instead, under a deal Senate Republicans negotiated with the White House, individuals can exempt estates up to $5 million and pay 35% beyond that. The exemption for couples is $10 million.
Confectionery giant Masterfoods, which makes Milky Way and Snickers candy bars as well as M&M's chocolates, says it will stop marketing its core products to children under the age of 12 by the end of this year. (See correction.)
A product placement company, sued last week by "The Apprentice's" producer for allegedly lying to companies whose products are showcased on the show and pocketing millions of dollars in profits, has countersued for $20 million, AdAge.com reported Thursday.