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Business News - part 41

Tribune Co. To Split Business Into Newspaper, Other Media Companies

Tribune Co. To Split Business Into Newspaper, Other Media Companies

BUSINESS

  • Tribune Co. splits in two: Tribune Co (real estate holdings, internet sites and TV stations) and Tribune Publishing Co (Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and 6 daily papers)
  • Tribune owns 42 US market TV stations
  • Details of spinoff structure not yet finalized

US media group Tribune Co. has plans to split into two companies – one for newspapers and one for television and internet – as revenue in the newspaper industry continues to decline.

The new company, called Tribune Publishing Co., would include the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and six other daily papers. The Tribune Co. name would be maintained by the company’s other assets such as real estate holdings, stakes in internet sites and TV stations.

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Japan Energy Update: Utilities Petition to Restart 10 Nuclear Plants

Japan Energy Update: Utilities Petition to Restart 10 Nuclear Plants

BUSINESS

  • Japanese nuclear operators Kansai Electric Power, Hokkaido Electric Power, Shikoku Electric Power and Kyushu Electric Power apply for safety assessments to restart 10 reactors
  • Nuclear Regulation Authority needs 6 months to review nuclear plants
  • New safety standards require utilities provide better protection from natural disasters, security attacks and severe accidents

Japanese nuclear operators Kansai Electric Power, Hokkaido Electric Power, Shikoku Electric Power and Kyushu Electric Power have applied for safety assessments to get 10 reactors restarted following the introduction of new regulations now in effect.

The reactors would produce 19% of the total capacity possible from Japanese reactors, or 8.84 gigawatts, and supply would power 2.9 million households in Japan.

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Samsung Electronics Acquires Media Streaming Startup Boxee

Samsung Electronics Acquires Media Streaming Startup Boxee

BUSINESS

  • Samsung buys Boxee to develop new apps, embedded cameras and other internet-based services
  • Samsung’s push to expand smart TV services represents an industry trend
  • Smart TV industry expected to reach sales of 221 million units in 2017

South Korea-based Samsung Electronics, the largest TV maker worldwide, has acquired Boxee, a startup media streaming company based in New York, in order to improve overall user experience across its connected devices.

Boxee offers a set-top box with broadcast recording and online video streaming capability, based on Apple Inc. and Android operating systems as well as the software running its connected set-top box.

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Yahoo Buys Email App Xobni To Attract Users, Add Products

Yahoo Buys Email App Xobni To Attract Users, Add Products

BUSINESS

  • Yahoo to integrate Xobni services into its email and instant-messaging services
  • Xobni says Yahoo understands how its services can benefit users
  • Yahoo using acquisitions to improve product suite, bolster technology and increase talent

Search engine Yahoo Inc. purchased email and address book management app Xobni for an undisclosed amount as part of a plan to attract more users and add to its product line.

Yahoo’s web-based email service is in competition with Microsoft’s Outlook and Google’s Gmail, and the search engine plans to integrate Xobni services into its email and instant-messaging services.

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Google Rumored To Be Developing New Videogame Console, Smartwatch

Google Rumored To Be Developing New Videogame Console, Smartwatch

BUSINESS

  • Google said to launch Android-run videogame, smartwatch connected to smartphones using Bluetooth
  • Google also planning to release new version of media-streaming device Nexus Q
  • Google aims to better compete against Apple products

Search giant Google is said to be developing an Android-run videogame console and other devices in an effort to compete against rival Apple, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The report says the console and a smartwatch are in the design stage, and could be available for sale later this year.

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US Automotive Manufacturers See Higher Than Expected June Sales

US Automotive Manufacturers See Higher Than Expected June Sales

BUSINESS

  • US automotive sales for June 2013 hit 16 million units, compared to 14.4 million in June 2012; surge marks best monthly pace since November 2007
  • Ford sales up nearly 14%, General Motors up 6.5% and Chrysler up 8%
  • Demand for large pickup trucks growing fast

US automakers Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. posted higher than expected sales in June, recording 16 million units sold compared to 14.4 million in June 2012. According to research from Autodata Corp., this marks the best monthly pace since November 2007.

The rise is attributed in part to higher consumer confidence, which has been boosted by an improving employment picture, a rising stock market, stable gasoline prices and low interest rates. According to Bankrate.com, the average interest rate for a four-year new-car loan is 2.7%.

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Japanese Bank Mitsubishi UFJ To Buy $5.6 Billion Majority Stake in Thai Bank

Japanese Bank Mitsubishi UFJ To Buy $5.6 Billion Majority Stake in Thai Bank

BUSINESS

  • Mitsubishi UFJ to buy 75% stake in Thailand's fifth-largest lender Bank of Ayudhya
  • Deal largest in Thailand's banking history
  • Japanese taking advantage of growing economy in Thailand

Japan’s biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group plans to purchase a majority stake in Thailand's fifth-largest lender Bank of Ayudhya Pcl for $5.6 billion, giving the bank access to Asia’s second-largest economy.

Mitsubishi UFJ will purchase a 75% stake in a tender offer, and the offer will take place from early November to December. Major shareholder, the Ratanarak Group from Thailand, will retain a 25% stake. Meanwhile, GE Capital will raise $2.41 billion selling its over 25% stake. In September, it sold a 7.6% stake for $466 million.

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Japanese Mobile Operator SoftBank Buys 78% of Sprint Nextel

Japanese Mobile Operator SoftBank Buys 78% of Sprint Nextel

BUSINESS

  • SoftBank's takeover bid for Sprint worth $21.6 billion approved
  • SoftBank secures a 78% stake in Sprint; to become one of the world’s largest mobile carriers
  • Dish Network forced to abandon its bid

Sprint Nextel Corp. shareholders have approved a $21.6 billion takeover bid by Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank Corp, which will now secure a 78% stake in Sprint.

Sprint is the third-largest mobile phone carrier in the United States, and by adding Sprint to its portfolio, SoftBank will be one step closer in completing Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son’s goal of turning the company into the world’s largest carrier.

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Delta Air Lines Receives Clearance in Virgin Atlantic Airways Acquisition

Delta Air Lines Receives Clearance in Virgin Atlantic Airways Acquisition

BUSINESS

  • Delta Air Lines buys 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • Merger includes coverage for 100 routes plus connections to 66 destinations in North America, UK
  • Benefits of joint venture include a loyalty program partnership and membership access enhancements

Major US airline Delta Air Lines recently announced that after newly acquiring a 49% stake in UK-based Virgin Atlantic Airways, the two airlines are working on a robust codeshare agreement as well as a frequent flyer partnership.

The merger between the two airline industry players will cover more than 100 routes and offer connections to 66 destinations across North American and the UK.  

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Telecommunications Giant Vodafone Buys German Cable Operator For $10 Billion

Telecommunications Giant Vodafone Buys German Cable Operator For $10 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Deal gives Vodafone access to 8.5 million households in Germany
  • European customers favor quad-play services
  • Kabel Deutschland latest in a string of acquisitions by Vodafone

British telecommunications company Vodafone Group Plc, the world's second-largest mobile operator, has agreed to purchase Kabel Deutschland Holding AG, Germany’s largest cable company, for over $10 billion to defend itself against competition by adding additional services.

Once the deal is finalized, Vodafone will have access to 8.5 million current and potential German customers for quad-play services, which are packages of mobile, land-line phone service, broadband internet and TV subscriptions.

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