* Intelsat, a satellite-network operator with headquarters in Washington, made an investment in WildBlue Communications, a retail satellite-Internet distributor that serves North America. Intelsat did not disclose the amount of the investment but said it would take a 30 percent stake in the company, along with the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative and Liberty Satellite & Technology, an affiliate of Liberty Media. Sources close to the deal said the total investment in the Colorado-based WildBlue would be $156 million. WildBlue is developing a new satellite technology that will beam high-speed Internet services at monthly fees of about $45, comparable to other services such as digital subscriber lines and cable modems. The investment represents Intelsat's first venture into the U.S. consumer market.

* VCampus, a Reston online education company, said it named Ronald E. Freedman senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. Freedman previously served as vice president of government sales and security solutions and before that was the chief security officer at USinternetworking.

* Business Devices, a Columbia software firm, landed a $50,000 round of funding from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. It was the second $50,000 investment the company has received through Maryland's Challenge Investment Fund for start-up technology firms.

* MercExchange, a Rockville Internet auction company, settled its patent-infringement action against Ashburn-based ReturnBuy. MercExchange agreed to dismiss its claims against ReturnBuy and grant a nonexclusive license to ReturnBuy for some of its patents. Specific terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, washingtonpost.com and Dow Jones News Service