Why Google just bought a drone company (Capital Biz A.M.)

Welcome to Capital Biz A.M., your morning primer on business news with a focus on Washington.

Google gobbles up drone maker: Google on Monday announced that it has acquired Titan Aerospace, a two-year-old technology start-up that builds solar-powered, high-altitude drones. It appears the company views the technology as a potential vehicle to deliver Internet access to remote and under-served parts of the world. Of course, Google Maps may benefit, too. (WP)

GM exits continue: General Motors has booted its executives previously in charge of communications and human resources in the wake of a string of recalls that have led to federal investigations. However, the company has another explanation. (AP)

Deficit sinking: A new congressional report predicts this year’s federal deficit will be $492 billion, $23 billion less than previously estimated and down from $680 billion last year. Could it be that health care costs are to credit? (WP)

Sales heat up with the weather: March retail sales rose 1.1 percent – the most in 18 months – after a brutal winter kept shoppers away from stores the last few months. But will the trend continue into the summer? (AP)

Venture capital on the rise: During the first three months of the year, U.S. venture firms raised $8.9 billion, the most of any quarter since before the recession began in 2007. Not bad, considering a large share of those firms were raising funds for the first time. (TBJ)

Well, that’s a relief: A mix of budget cuts and new mandates have put a strain on the Internal Revenue Service, meaning fewer agents auditing tax returns this year and, for individuals and companies alike, less chance of an audit. However, it may also mean less tax help. (WP)

On Wall Street

Stocks recovered some of the ground they lost during the plummet last week, buoyed by those strong retail sales numbers. (Get the latest updates here)

What’s on tap today

Consumer price index (8:30 a.m.)

Housing market index (10 a.m.)

Help: How to deal with frustrating customers (INC)

Follow: Brad Feld, venture capitalists and blogger, Foundry Group

Extra: Washington welcomes an important, prehistoric visitor today (WP)

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he runs the On Small Business blog.

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J.D. Harrison · April 14, 2014