And in the real world... Orange, AOL, Virgin Galactic and more

LONDON - Today's round-up of the biggest business stories.

World news... round-up
World news... round-up

Orange has secured a partnership deal with Universal Music and Channel 4 to offer consumers free music on pay-as-you-go mobile phones for the first time.  Source: The Independent

AOL has seen its value fall by 97 per cent since it merged with Time Warner in 2000. The internet giant was valued at $166 billion at the time of the merger, but is worth just $5.66 billion today. Source: The Daily Telegraph

Aabar Investments, an Abu Dhabi state-linked investment company, is preparing to pay around £170 million for a 32 per cent stake in Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson's commercial space venture. Source: Financial Times

Pubs and retailers experienced one of their best months of the year so far in July, thanks to the surprising resilience of consumers during the recession. Source: Financial Times

BP is anticipating an extra $1 billion in cost savings this year as costs in its supply chains continue to fall at a massive rate. Source: The Independent

House prices may finally be bottoming out after official figures revealed that prices rose in June for the first time in 18 months. Source: The Independent