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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
Verizon shakes up cable TV, a Cyprus bailout scares markets, and more in our roundup of the business stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
If Verizon FiOS has its way, customers might only have to pay for the channels they watch.
If Verizon FiOS has its way, customers might only have to pay for the channels they watch. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

1. VERIZON WANTS TO REVOLUTIONIZE PAY-TV
Verizon is proposing to upend the pay-television industry by charging its FiOS TV subscribers only for the channels they watch, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Verizon is the nation's sixth largest pay-TV service, with 4.7 million customers. The company is negotiating with "midtier and smaller" media companies, which it declined to name, about paying them according to the size of the audience for their channels, as measured by Verizon's set-top boxes. Currently, Verizon pays for its channels the same way cable and satellite companies do, with a fee calculated according to the number of homes the distributor reaches. [Wall Street Journal]
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2. BAILOUT TERMS SPARK TURMOIL IN CYPRUS
Global stocks dropped Monday after the European Union proposed a bailout deal imposing a one-time 6.75 percent tax on bank deposits in Cyprus. Investors feared the move would tip Europe back into crisis, but Cyprus' new president, Nicos Anastasiades, said the country faces a "complete collapse of the banking sector" if it doesn't get the $13 billion bailout. The country's parliament delayed a vote on the rescue plan from Monday to Tuesday, as the government tried to rework the divisive proposal and rally support from lawmakers. Cypriots have lined up at automated teller machines since the levy was proposed on Saturday, but the government has ordered banks closed until Tuesday. [New York Times]
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3. HOME BUILDERS LOSE CONFIDENCE
Confidence among home builders unexpectedly slipped in March, despite recent signs of a housing-market recovery, the National Association of Home Builders reported Monday. The NAHB/Wells Fargo housing-market index fell to 44 from 46 in February, the second straight monthly drop. Tight credit is discouraging builders from launching new projects. The industry is also being held back by the loss of home builders and a reduction in the production of building materials during the Great Recession. "The road to a housing recovery will be a bumpy one until these issues are addressed," says David Crowe, NAHB's chief economist. [MarketWatch]
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4. WHISTLEBLOWER REPORTED BRIBERY AT WALL STREET JOURNAL IN CHINA
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the Justice Department had investigated a whistleblower's claim that employees in the newspaper's China bureau had bribed local officials for information. Paula Keve, a spokeswoman for The Wall Street Journal, said the company had conducted its own investigation, and found no evidence of impropriety. The U.S. Department of Justice had asked Dow Jones & Co., which operates the newspaper, to look into the claims as part of a wider inquiry into the 2011 British phone hacking scandal at its parent company, Rupert Mudoch's News Corp. [New York Times, Reuters]
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5. CHINA'S ARMS SALES SOAR
China has become the world's fifth largest arms exporter for the first time since the Cold War, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported Monday. Chinese arms exports jumped by 162 percent between 2008 to 2012, largely thanks to sales to Pakistan, which accounted for 55 percent of China's international weapons business. "China needs to increase its influence in regional affairs," says Li Hong, secretary-general of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, "and from that perspective it needs to increase weapons exports further." [Financial Times]

 
Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

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