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AirTran to put ads on seatback tray tables

ATLANTA - It soon will be harder to avoid advertising if you fly on one major carrier. AirTran Airways is installing ads on the bottom of seat-back tray tables on all its planes. Passengers have to keep the tray tables in their upright, locked position, during the beginning and end of their flights. That means an unimpeded view of the ads, which AirTran hopes will bring in millions of dollars in new revenue at a time when much of the industry has been reeling amid the economic slowdown. AirTran expects the ads to be on its 138 planes within weeks. Mother Nature Network, offering a chance to win a Royal Caribbean cruise, is its first advertising partner. US Airways has been placing ads on the tops of tray tables for years, but only on some planes.

- Associated Press

Three retailers report solid third-quarter earnings

CHICAGO - Deal-craving shoppers helped a trio of prominent U.S. retailers report Tuesday that their third quarter managed to improve this year. At Target, in-store revenue rose along with foot traffic during the three-month period, but shoppers were still buying fewer items during each trip. But shoppers at both stores and discount retailer TJX Cos. surprised analysts in seeming more willing to indulge. Of the retailers that reported Tuesday, TJMaxx's parent company, TJX, fared best, with quarterly profit up 32 percent. It also said early holiday sales are strong. Target earned $436 million, or 58 cents per share, during the three months that ended in late October. Its revenue rose 1.1 percent to $15.28 billion. Saks managed to post a surprise profit for the first time in 18 months. Saks earned $1.9 million, or 1 cent per share, for the period.

- Associated Press

Madoff yacht, boats sold for $1 million at auction

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Bernard Madoff's yacht "Bull," two smaller boats and a Mercedes-Benz convertible have been auctioned in Florida for more than $1 million combined. The private auction was held by the U.S. Marshals service, which seized Madoff's assets after his Ponzi scheme was exposed. Proceeds will benefit Madoff's investors.

- Associated Press

GM gets tax break to stay in Detroit headquarters

LANSING, Mich. - General Motors Co. is promising to keep its headquarters in Detroit in return for expanded state tax credits approved Tuesday. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority gave the go-ahead to extend tax credits the company won in June for agreeing to build a new small car at its Orion Township plant near Pontiac. The tax credits now cover some workers at GM's Renaissance Center headquarters in downtown Detroit. The new agreement says GM must keep 22,500 employees in the state rather than just 20,000 to get the tax credits.

- Associated Press

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