* Apple is close to a deal with Disney to rent ABC TV shows via iTunes, the Wall Street Journal reports. It's also looking to trademark several of its mobile app icons.
* Burger King reported slumping sales.
* AARP research finds brand-name drug prices increased 8% last year.
* Barnes & Noble reported a tough quarter and increased legal costs due to proxy fight with investor.
* Best Buy named Aura Oslapas its new chief design officer.
* AIG may decide on its AIA stake next week.
* AMD may drop its ATI brand.
* Beyonce's Dereon family-run fashion line is accused of stealing leggings design from E-Label, an Icelandic brand she purchased at Topshop.
* Border's books hired Michelle Delahunty-Cloutier from Chico's as its new chief merchanding officer.
* Bugattis are proving recession-proof as celebrities and world's wealthy continuing snapping them up.
* Changan is developing a luxury car brand for the Chinese market.
* Costco is targeting mall space to expand its reach.
* Craftsman tools tomorrow opens The Craftsman Experience, featuring hands-on demos and social media, in downtown Chicago.
* Craigslist is being lobbied by 17 state attorney generals to block ads promoting prostitution and child trafficking.
* Dell reduced its packaging by 87 million pounds last year.
* DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket package is coming to the Web and smartphones for $350/season as rival Dish Network launches DishOnline.com streaming video portal.
* Etihad Airways signed Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif as its new face.
* Ford's new rich media ad units for its Drive One digital campaign increased time spent with the brand, according to vendor.
* Goldman Sachs is losing muscle in corporate finance as bond share shrinks; it's also accused in a new book of trying to "destroy" China.
* Groupon and rivals' personalized deals may please customers while irking merchants.
* Hertz's bid for Dollar Thrifty is being challenged by a shareholder lawsuit.
* Johnson & Johnson issued its ninth consumer recall this year: 1 Day Acuvue TruEye contact lenses, in Australia, Asia and Europe.
* Krispy Kreme is expanding to the Dominican Republic.
* La Nuestra brand recall in the U.S. expands to Canada over salmonella fears.
* Li-Ning, China's top athletic shoe and apparel brand, signed #2 NBA draft pick Evan Turner to a multi-year endorsement deal.
* MTV tests horror movie concept with under-the-radar social media campaign.
* MTV star (of Jersey Shore) The Situation may earn $5 million this year throug sponsorship deals including Vitimanwater, Reebok, GNC and an unnamed vodka brand.
* NHL is blocked from expanding to Europe by world hockey federation.
* Qualcomm, AT&T, Best Buy, Intel, GE and other tech players are investing in "m-health" mobile health services.
* Random House wins battle with Andrew Wylie literary agency to open e-book rights, ending Wylie's exclusive with Amazon (also good news for Apple and Barnes & Noble).
* Twitter users are 3x more likely to impact a brand's reputation online. Twitter also rounded out new hires for its sales team this week.
* UBS is launching a mergers & acquisitions business in China.
* United and Continental are failing to win over each airline's brand loyalists as merger looms.
* U.S. credit card debt drops to eight-year low, as consumers pay off balances despite recession.
* WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell sees global recovery as "LuVVy-shaped".
* E-cigarettes selling in 7-Eleven and other retailers are "sparking a new smoking war," reports the Wall Street Journal.
* Pac-10 (soon to become the Pac-12) and other U.S. college sports conferences are stepping up marketing in a bid to brand themselves.
* Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals is getting his own brand of cereal in Kroger supermarkets.