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Business Briefs: Everett firm bought for $24 million in cash

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Astronics Corp. said Friday that it bought the privately held Ballard Technology, Inc., an Everett-based company. Ballard Technology designs and produces avionics equipment for defense and commercial aerospace applications. Astronics, a high-performance lighting, electrical power and automated test systems company, bought all of the stock of Ballard for $24 million in cash. An additional purchase consideration of up to $5.5 million may be paid by Astronics if Ballard achieves certain revenue growth targets over each of the next five years. Founded in 1986, Ballard is projecting 2011 revenue of roughly $11 million. If it hits the revenue target, Ballard's revenues will have grown by 20 percent annually over the past three years.
Regulators OK Google buy of online ad firm
The U.S. Justice Department approved Google's acquisition of online advertising service Admeld after concluding the deal wouldn't diminish competition in one of the Internet's most lucrative marketing niches. The decision announced Friday clears the way for Google Inc. to take control of Admeld six months after the companies agreed to the deal. Google said it plans to take control of Admeld within the next few days, although the two companies' products will remain separate for a while longer. It's the fourth time since 2007 that the U.S. government has taken a close look at a Google acquisition to determine if it would stifle competition or drive up prices. Google has gained regulatory approval in each instance.
Coca-Cola buyers dislike holiday cans
Coca-Cola Co. is bringing red back for its annual holiday cans after a white design drew criticism from pop purists. The company had turned its Coke cans white as part of a campaign to protect polar bears and their habitat. But some consumers thought the cans looked too similar to Diet Coke's silver cans and others felt the beverage tasted different in the new packaging. Coca-Cola says it is not pulling the cans from the market but adding red cans to the mix to help draw attention to the campaign and respond to consumer demands.
Facebook to open New York center
Facebook will open an engineering center in New York City early next year, its first such office outside the West Coast, the social network giant said Friday. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg joined elected officials for the announcement at Facebook's existing New York office on Madison Avenue. Sandberg would not say how many people Facebook would hire in New York, only that the company plans to add "thousands" worldwide in coming years. Sandberg said the company will stay in its current location at the Bank of America Plaza for the time being. The building overlooks Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.
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