Business News - part 8

US Airlines: Passenger Complaints Down 15% In 2013

US Airlines: Passenger Complaints Down 15% In 2013

BUSINESS

  • On-time arrivals and baggage handling worse than before
  • Consolidation affected ratings
  • Individual airline rankings to be released

Airline passenger complaints for the top 15 US airlines dropped 15% in 2013, according to the 24th annual Airline Quality Rating report.

In 2011, complaints had risen 30% and increased 20% in 2012. Last year’s drop reflects an improvement by United Continental Holdings to 2.14 complaints per 100,000 passengers.

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Exxon Mobil: Climate Change Rules Will Not Impact Revenue

Exxon Mobil: Climate Change Rules Will Not Impact Revenue

BUSINESS

  • Exxon calms shareholder fears that climate change and related global policies to negatively affect company assets and profitability in future
  • Exxon says fossil fuel demand to remain strong, particularly in developing countries
  • Exxon anticipates world energy needs to continue to be met by more economical and traditional oil and gas sources despite progression of renewable energy

Exxon Mobil, the Irving, Texas-based US leader in the oil and natural gas industry, has released a report on its website stating that it was “highly unlikely” that global climate change rules would hinder its fossil fuel production and sales in the immediate future; Exxon said fossil fuels would instead remain the major source of energy globally.

While acknowledging the real threat of global warming, Exxon says that despite global adaptation to mounting temperatures its gas and oil reserves will not drop in value. It put out this report—the first comprehensive report by a large-scale oil and gas business discussing the conceivable effect of climate change on business outlook—at the request of shareholders Arjuna Capital and As You Sow.

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BlackBerry Ends Agreement With US Carrier T-Mobile

BlackBerry Ends Agreement With US Carrier T-Mobile

BUSINESS

  • License expires April 25
  • End due in part to T-Mobile tweet
  • BlackBerry users need to find new carrier

Canadian mobile phone manufacturer BlackBerry Ltd. has opted not to renew its license with US carrier T-Mobile once it expires on April 25. 

The move comes after a February tweet by T-Mobile CEO John Legere which suggested BlackBerry users should switch to an iPhone 5s.  The tweet received backlash from BlackBerry users, and Legere tried to calm nerves by saying he would work with his team to find a situation.

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Technology Spending To Hit $3.8 Trillion In 2014

Technology Spending To Hit $3.8 Trillion In 2014

BUSINESS

  • Tech spending on track to meet analyst forecasts
  • All areas to see growth this year
  • Trend toward lower-end devices

At the end of the first quarter, worldwide information technology spending is forecast to reach $3.8 trillion, a 3.2% increase from 2013 and on track with analysts’ estimates for the year, as the global economy continues to improve.

According to research firm Gartner Inc., growth is expected in all areas, including those that saw a decline in growth in 2013: devices, data center systems and telecom services.

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Mitsubishi Buys Former Ford Automotive Plant In Philippines

Mitsubishi Buys Former Ford Automotive Plant In Philippines

BUSINESS

  • Mitsubishi buys closed Ford auto plant to replace aging facilities; more cost effective than building a new location
  • Mitsubishi to begin production at plant in January 2015 with annual capacity at 50,000 vehicles to start then rising to 100,000 vehicles
  • Southeast Asia competitive market for automakers

Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is purchasing a closed auto plant from Ford Motor Co. in Laguna, Philippines to increase capacity outside of Japan and replace aging plants.

Mitsubishi has not disclosed what it paid for the plant, but it the amount is reported to be between $97 million and $145 million.

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GE Aviation To Build New Jet Engine Plant For $100 Million

GE Aviation To Build New Jet Engine Plant For $100 Million

BUSINESS

  • New GE plant in Indiana to create 200 high-paying jobs starting in 2015
  • Indiana incentives include $332,000 in training grants and up to $1.35 million in industrial development funding
  • New site to produce innovative LEAP engine, with orders totalling over 6,000

GE Aviation, a world leader in aircraft systems and jet engines, will open a new $100 million Lafayette, Indiana site for jet engine production.

The 225,000-square-foot Lafayette, Indiana site will be GE Aviation’s seventh US aviation facility launched in the past seven years, with other locations in Asheville, NC; Batesville, MS; Greenville, SC; Ellisville, MS; Auburn, AL; and Dayton, OH.

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Auto Update: Nissan Recalls 1 Million Vehicles In North America

Auto Update: Nissan Recalls 1 Million Vehicles In North America

BUSINESS

  • Error detected in Nissan airbag software
  • Auto recall marks fifth this year in the US for automakers  
  • Nissan 2013-2014 models affected

Japanese automaker Nissan has recalled nearly a million vehicles in North America after an error was detected in its front passenger airbag deployment software.

Because of a malfunction in the sensitivity of the software calibration, the software might detect a seat as empty when it’s occupied. The software is federally mandated.

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Facebook Buys Virtual Reality Technology Startup Oculus For $2 Billion

Facebook Buys Virtual Reality Technology Startup Oculus For $2 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Startup makes virtual reality technology
  • Analysts and others critical of deal
  • Facebook trying to establish relationships with gamers

Facebook Inc., the world’s largest social network, has agreed to purchase startup Oculus VR for $2 billion, hoping wearable hardware will change how people will interact with content, information and their online friends.

Facebook will pay $1.6 billion in stock and $400 million in cash. Up to an additional $300 million may be paid depending on Oculus’s performance. The deal is Facebook’s second-largest acquisition and should help Facebook compete with hardware manufacturers such as Amazon and Google.

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Electronics Giant LG Enters Smart Lighting Industry with Smart Lamp

Electronics Giant LG Enters Smart Lighting Industry with Smart Lamp

BUSINESS

  • LG’s Smart Lamp offers users various innovative security and lighting features via an LED controlled by Android and Apple iOS smartphones
  • Smart Lamp can be set as an alarm clock or “disco light” and notifies users of incoming calls
  • Philips one of the Smart Lamp’s stiffest direct competitors, with 2012 ‘Hue’ smart light bulb

South Korea-based electronics corporation LG recently announced its newest home lighting product, the Smart Lamp—a light-emitting diode (LED) lightbulb that can be managed via Apple iOS 4.0 and 6.0 and Android 4.3 (and over) smartphones.

Soon the Smart Lamp will be available for purchase in South Korea at a 35,000 won (approximately $32) price tag; there is no news of the Smart Lamp being available in different markets.

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Retail Giant Walmart Buying Into $2 Billion Used Game Industry

Retail Giant Walmart Buying Into $2 Billion Used Game Industry

BUSINESS

  • Walmart implementing new program to let customers trade in used video games for a range of Walmart and Sam’s Club products
  • Trade-in values, ranging from a few dollars to over $35, to depend on console, title and age
  • World’s largest video game retailer GameStop overtakes Walmart by having in-house refurbishing ability as well as own software for pricing

Walmart Stores Inc., the leading global retailer, is looking to buy into the $2-billion used video-game industry led by Grapevine, Texas-based GameStop Corp.

Walmart is letting customers exchange their used video games for gift cards redeemable for groceries, new games and any other Walmart or Sam’s Club products.

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