UnitedHealthcare partners with lab companies

Business / Business News /

Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealthcare announced long-term strategic partnerships this week with two large lab testing companies to develop "value-based programs" like those the health insurer has been pushing with hospitals and clinics.

With the new arrangements, New Jersey-based Quest Diagnostics will become an in-network lab for more than ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: The Bumble Bee tuna price-fixing case could point to the future of white-collar prosecutions

Business / Business News /

When the roll call is sounded of business deals that looked like a good idea at the time but went massively wrong, special notice should go to the merger of the tuna packagers Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea, announced in late 2014.

The $1.5-billion deal would have created a canned tuna powerhouse commanding nearly half of the U.S. market, ...Read more

Mario Batali's three Las Vegas restaurants are closing in light of sexual misconduct allegations

Business / Business News /

Mario Batali's three restaurants in Las Vegas will close July 27, a decision that comes as the New York Police Department conducts an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct levied against the celebrity chef.

The news was announced to employees Friday morning by B&B Hospitality Group, which provides back-office and operational ...Read more

Tesla reaches settlement in class-action Autopilot case

Business / Business News /

Tesla said Friday it has agreed to make payments to customers around the world as part of a settlement to a class-action suit involving the electric carmaker's sometimes controversial Autopilot assisted-driving system.

The settlement, which was agreed to late Thursday in San Jose federal court, has to get a final signoff from U.S. District ...Read more

Illinois groups push to restrict short-term insurance, as Trump administration seeks to expand it

Business / Business News /

Illinois is considering legislation that would impose limits on short-term health insurance plans that the Trump administration is seeking to expand.

Dozens of Illinois advocacy groups, under the umbrella of the Protect Our Care Coalition, are supporting a bill that would impose a six-month limit on the use of short-term insurance plans -- ...Read more

Publix halts political contributions after days of pushback from Parkland protestors

Business / Business News /

MIAMI -- Supermarket giant Publix said Friday it has halted all corporate political contributions. The company made the announcement moments before a planned "die-in" protest organized by David Hogg, a vocal Parkland school shooting survivor.

Hogg and other gun violence activists were angered when news broke that the grocery store chain donated...Read more

With Trump's North Korea summit off, is the trade war with China back on?

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Only a week ago, the drums of a trade war seemed to be quieting as the Trump administration put a hold on plans to tax Chinese imports and there was talk of a so-called skinny deal emerging from renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

But just like that, things could be simmering again after two abrupt moves by ...Read more

LA pot retailer MedMen has 12 shops, a $1.6-billion valuation and, coming soon, Canadian stock

Business / Business News /

They used to be drug dealers. Then they became dispensaries. Now we have cannabis retailers that "seek to replicate the Apple store model" and give customers "a comfortable, informative and nonthreatening environment."

That's how Culver City firm MedMen describes its pot shops in documents submitted as part of the company's most audacious plan ...Read more

White-collar prosecutions fall to 20-year low under Trump

Business / Business News /

NEW YORK -- The number of white-collar prosecutions is on track to hit a 20-year low under President Donald Trump, after reaching a high in 2011 during the Barack Obama administration, according to a nonprofit research center that analyzes government data.

A total of 3,249 cases were brought during the first seven months of the U.S. government'...Read more

Starbucks offers a peek at anti-racial bias training

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- Next Tuesday afternoon, 175,000 Starbucks employees will receive training aimed at rooting out racial biases in the wake of an embarrassing incident that has challenged fundamental parts of the company's values and image.

The Seattle-based coffee giant on Wednesday revealed glimpses of the curriculum it has developed for its ...Read more

McDonald's will keep using plastic straws, but is studying alternatives

Business / Business News /

For now anyway, McDonald's is not phasing out plastic straws in its U.S. restaurants.

A shareholder proposal directing McDonald's to re-evaluate its use of straws was overwhelmingly voted down at the global fast food chain's annual meeting Thursday in suburban Oak Brook. Despite grabbing headlines this week, the proposal only garnered about 8 ...Read more

Auto review: Hyundai's 2018 Kona small crossover starts at $19,500, offers all-wheel drive

Business / Business News /

For 2018, Hyundai has added a new subcompact crossover SUV to its lineup, with lots to offer for the money and features buyers want in a versatile family vehicle, as well as Hyundai's excellent warranty.

The new Kona is available in four trims: SE, $19,500; SEL, $21,150; Limited, $24,700; and Ultimate, $27,400.

Front-wheel drive is standard, ...Read more

The Week Ahead: Bending the Volcker Rule

Business / Business News /

Paul Volcker is credited with taming runaway inflation, helping seed the U.S. economy for the booming 1980s and '90s. He is an imposing figure in finance, and that has nothing to do with his 6-foot-7-inch frame.

As Federal Reserve chairman, he inherited double-digit inflation and an American economy struggling for growth. He led the charge to ...Read more

Auto review: Restyled 2018 Nissan Leaf has extended range on full charge to about 150 miles

Business / Business News /

Nissan redesigned its groundbreaking Leaf all-electric car for 2018, which includes improving the electric drive system -- and extended the driving range on a single charge to an estimated 150 miles, up from 107 miles on the 2017 model.

The exterior and interior have been restyled, and the new model has a 147-horsepower electric motor, up from ...Read more

Under the Hood: Perceived braking irregularity might be a road surface issue

Business / Business News /

Q. Brad, I have a problem with my 2013 Lexus IS 250c that has been going on almost from the time I began leasing it. When I brake for a stop sign or light sometimes (but not always) the front wheels will turn abruptly to the left (and even occasionally to the right) as I come to a stop. The steering wheel will make about a quarter turn to the ...Read more

Is this the only way millennials can live in a house?

Business / Business News /

Live like a king at a pauper's price? Not exactly, but you can reside at an estate on a budget -- so long as you're willing to share it with several strangers.

That's the bargain offered by Bay Area co-living startup Bungalow, which has newly taken up residence in San Diego by leasing out two aspirational homes on a room-by-room basis. The ...Read more

HQ2 sweepstakes: Amazon's business much more than e-commerce

Business / Business News /

There's the part of Amazon that sells and ships books, shoes, electronics, toys and even groceries.

There's the side of Amazon that makes movies and television shows, e-readers and devices for the connected home. There's also the Amazon business that forms a vital link in the global internet infrastructure that helps companies and governments ...Read more

Mark Phelan: 2019 Ford Raptor adds adaptive shocks ready for 'jump mode'

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Ford's insanely popular F-150 Raptor off-road race truck will add electronically controlled adaptive shock absorbers for a smoother ride and better control when the 2019 model goes on sale late this year.

The new Fox Racing Shox are joined by an electronic system that functions like cruise control for the most challenging off-road ...Read more

Electric vehicle startup Rivian gets $200 million in funding to recharge shuttered Illinois plant

Business / Business News /

Startup Rivian Automotive has secured a $200 million loan to begin producing electric vehicles at the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Ill., by 2020.

While the Michigan-based company has yet to unveil a single vehicle design, the central Illinois city of Normal may have a lot riding on Rivian's success, with potentially 1,000 new jobs in the ...Read more

Ford tech workers move to Corktown: 'A very different space than suburbia'

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Tom Walsh packed his bags and headed west from New York City to Dearborn in March to play a key role on Ford's recently formed technology team, which on Thursday settles into its new digs in an old hosiery factory in Corktown, the historic district west of downtown Detroit.

"I live about a mile away in the heart of downtown," he said...Read more