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    CNN Money: Top business headlines for March 15

    5:51 AM, Mar 15, 2013   |    comments
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    NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN Money's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Friday, March 15.

    IRS has $917 million in unclaimed 2009 tax refunds
    Taxpayers who haven't filed 2009 tax returns are missing out on federal tax refunds totaling $917 million, the IRS announced Thursday. About 984,400 taxpayers haven't submitted returns for 2009, the agency said. Some people may not have filed because their income was low enough that they weren't required to, but they could still qualify for refunds if taxes were withheld from their paychecks. Even if taxes weren't withheld, certain credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit -- which can total nearly $6,000 -- are available for low-income taxpayers.

    Little Debbie maker to buy Drake's brand from Hostess for $27.5 million
    Hostess Brands Inc. on Thursday named McKee Foods Corp. the winning bidder for its Drake's brand of coffee cakes and other treats, as no other bidder topped McKee's $27.5 million offer.  Hostess said a planned Friday auction for Drake's, which makes Ring Dings, Yodels, Devil Dogs and its namesake Drake's coffee cake, will be canceled. Hostess will ask a bankruptcy judge to approve the transaction at an April 9 hearing.  McKee, the maker of Little Debbie snack cakes, in January was named the lead bidder for Drake's. 

    Redbox Instant launches publicly, CEO calls original content talk premature
    Surprise! Redbox Instant by Verizon officially launched to the public Thursday, just as I had predicted in an earlier story. The launch comes after a three-month-long closed beta test that Redbox Instant CEO Shawn Strickland characterized as a great learning opportunity during a phone conversation Thursday morning. "Now we are open for business," he added. Redbox Instant currently offers its subscribers access to 4,600 subscription titles and four Redbox DVD rentals for $8 a month.  

    Pope Francis causes Internet traffic spike
    The announcement of Pope Francis caused a Super Bowl-like stir on the Web. The Internet exploded with traffic on Wednesday afternoon as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected as pontiff. Social media sites such as Facebook (FB) lit up, and Twitter said it peaked at 130,000 tweets per minute. That's nearly as much traffic as the 150,000 tweet-per-minute peak of this year's Super Bowl and double the 70,000 tweets per minute users fired off during the Oscars telecast last month.

     

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