Medtronic shows no interest in buying rivals; also: Steenland complains again about oil prices, IBS unveils local news feature, thank God it’s Friday

Medtronic says it’s not interested in buying a California heart valve maker, despite Wall Street chatter that the two companies could be a good fit, Bloomberg reports. An analyst recently speculated Medtronic or its rival Johnson & Johnson may benefit from acquiring Edwards Lifesciences, which makes a heart valve that can be implanted without opening up the patient’s chest. A Medtronic spokesman said: “We believe we’re going to be able to leapfrog them, relatively quickly and relatively easily.”

Northwest Airlines CEO Doug Steenland
says yesterday’s spike in oil prices is a “poster child” for why Congress needs to better regulate energy markets. “With no single event occurring that would cause supply to decrease or demand for oil to increase, the price in the last 20 minutes of trading went up about $5 a barrel as a result of financial players, near the close of trading, coming into the market and driving up price,” Steenland said.

More Northwest: The company e-mailed its frequent fliers Thursday morning asking them to visit a website called, where they can send a form letter to their members of Congress urging them to take action to reign in “excessive” energy speculation. Northwest said Thursday evening that 300,000 customers had already used the website to write their elected officials.

Web publisher Internet Broadcasting Systems has unveiled a new application that will deliver hyper-local news headlines to your iPhone based on your location. NowLocal is the St. Paul company’s first foray into consumer software. It’ll draw headlines from thousands of news sources, the company said. The program will be available for free download soon through the Apple iPhone App Store, but for now you can view a demo here.

And, since it’s Friday, lets finish with a bit of fake news from The Onion about a Carlson Companies-owned restaurant: “The executive chef of the Tremont Road T.G.I. Friday’s strongly recommended that a table of VIP guests try the evening’s special: a ‘tender, juicy, and heavily seasoned’ booze-on-meat-with-cheese thing.” The “8-ounce meat, infused with imported cheese and drizzled with a creamy reduction of booze .. is served on a bed of cheese and meat, and is best paired with a glass of booze.”

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