Money Minute: Probe Into GM Recall Shifts Into High Gear

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The Justice Department's investigation into General Motor's ignition switch problems is kicking into high gear.

Federal prosecutors are sending out subpoenas to get to the bottom of who knew what at GM (GM) when it comes to the automaker's faulty ignition switches that killed at least 13 people and lead to massive recalls.

The subpoenas come on the heels of documents released by a House panel that reveals a top executive at GM knew about the defects in 2005. GM has already paid $35 million in fines to settle charges it broke federal auto safety regulations but a criminal investigation could lead to much higher fines. Toyota had to pay $1.2 billion to settle its recent Justice Department investigation.

U.S. companies are starting to feel the sting of the Edward Snowden scandal. The German government has just canceled its contract with Verizon (VZ). Officials cited worries about data security as the reason for the change. Snowden alleged U.S. telecom companies provided data to intelligence agencies for surveillance purposes and even tapped into German Chancellor Angela Merkel's personal phone. Telecom and Internet giants like Verizon and Google (GOOG) claim they didn't actively participate in the surveillance programs.

Here on Wall Street on Thursday, stocks fell. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) dropped 21 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) fell almost 1 point and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 2 points.

The New York Stock Exchange just received another feather to add to its cap. The exchange has been chosen as the site for Alibaba's U.S. listing which is expected to be one of the largest IPOs in U.S. history. The exchange beat out the Nasdaq, which is traditionally favored by tech companies but its reputation was sullied somewhat after Facebook's (FB) botched IPO. Alibaba will trade under the ticker "BABA" and could begin trading in August.

And finally, Amazon.com (AMZN) wants to deliver your dinner. The e-commerce king is preparing to launch a takeout app that could be a threat to Seamless, GrubHub (GRUB) and other online food delivery sites. It will initially be a part of Amazon Local, which offers coupons from merchants in your area. The service will start in Seattle and then branch out to other parts of the country and eventually go global.

-Produced by Karina Huber.


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