Anheuser-Busch looks south of the border

Top U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch is in talks to acquire the rest of Mexican peer Grupo Modelo, The Wall Street Journal reported, in a possible move to counter an unsolicited offer from Belgium’s InBev. Anheuser-Busch already owns about half of Modelo. ( The other half of Modelo was believed to be worth about $11 billion, and a merger would presumably make Anheuser-Busch too expensive to be acquired. (Reuters) If InBev were willing to drop below investment grade, it could buy both brewers, said Gimme Credit analyst Craig Hutson. “It gets to how badly InBev really wants this asset,” he said. “I think they really want Anheuser-Busch.” (Bloomberg)

Google and Yahoo deal after Microsoft talks die

Yahoo forged a Web ad deal with Google last night after ongoing talks with Microsoft apparently ended for good. The nonexclusive four- to 10-year deal with Google will bring in $250 million to $450 million in operating cash in the first year, Yahoo said. (The New York Times) After Microsoft withdrew its $33-a-share hostile bid for Yahoo, it reportedly offered to buy Yahoo’s search business and pay $35 a share for 16 percent of the whole company. Yahoo said it didn’t want to sell just its search business; Microsoft closed the door on “rebidding” for all of Yahoo. (Reuters) “When Microsoft walked, it was a real walk,” said analyst Colin Gillis at Canaccord Adams. “This deal has the perception of damaged goods.” (Bloomberg)

Home foreclosure filings jump 48 percent

RealtyTrac reported that U.S. foreclosure filings rose 48 percent in May, versus a year earlier, and more than 73,000 homes were repossessed by banks, a 158 percent jump over May 2007. May marked the 29th consecutive year-over-year increase in filings, RealtyTrac said. ( The data translates to one foreclosure filing per 483 households nationwide. In the worst-hit state, Nevada, that number rises to one in 118 households. (AP in Yahoo! Finance) In Stockton, Calif., one in 75 households is in foreclosure. The market’s definitely changed in the past few years, said Devin Reiss of Realty 500 Reiss Corp. in Las Vegas. “We used to sell homes in a day. Now 50 percent of our sales are foreclosures.” (Bloomberg)

The FCC tackles cellphone termination fees

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin said he plans to forge a national standard for cellphone-contract early termination fees. His proposals would have wireless companies charge smaller termination fees for cheaper phones and prorate the charge depending on how far the customer is into the contract. The FCC got 3,700 complaints on the fees last year. (The Washington Post, free registration) Wireless firms say they need the fees to offer discounted phones. Critics aren’t sold. “Early-termination fees are penalties that are designed to stop consumers from switching to a company with better service for a better price, period,” said Chris Murray of the Consumers Union. (Bloomberg)