Justice Department opens probe of big tech companies over competition harm

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department said it's investigating whether technology giants are harming competition, stepping up its scrutiny of the industry's biggest companies.

The department's antitrust division will look at concerns that consumers, businesses and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and online retail, ...Read more

Google settles 'age-discrimination' class-action lawsuit with more than 200 workers for $11 million

Business / Business News /

Google has settled for $11 million a long-running class-action lawsuit claiming that it discriminated against hundreds of older workers by failing to hire them because of their age.

The workers argued in their lawsuit that between 2007 and 2013, Google's workforce grew to nearly 30,000 people and that the median age of its workers as of 2013 ...Read more

Facing federal antitrust lawsuit, nation's two largest printers call off $1.4 billion merger

Business / Business News /

Under pressure from a federal antitrust lawsuit, two rival printing giants, Chicago-based LSC Communications and Quad/Graphics, have agreed to terminate their proposed $1.4 billion merger.

The announcement Tuesday ends the deal to put the nation's two largest printers under one corporate banner, and a potentially lengthy court battle to ...Read more

Barr warns time's running out for companies to open encryption

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General William Barr issued a sharp warning that time may be running out for Facebook Inc. and other technology companies to come to a voluntary agreement providing law enforcement officials with access to the encrypted communications of their users.

"While we remain open to a cooperative approach, the time to achieve ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: New data show that failing to expand Medicaid has led to 16,000 unnecessary deaths

Business / Business News /

Adversaries of Medicaid expansion have always pointed to the lack of evidence that enrollment in Medicaid improves health and saves lives, and therefore the expansion is a waste.

A new study should put that argument to rest, permanently. The researchers found not only that the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act brought ...Read more

US Bank buys BMW's credit card business, will offer co-branded cards

Business / Business News /

U.S. Bank is adding some luxury luster to its credit card lineup.

The nation's fifth-largest bank said Monday it agreed with BMW Financial Services to issue credit cards that provide rewards for BMW products and services.

U.S. Bank also acquired an existing credit card portfolio from BMW Bank of North America, which provides loans and other ...Read more

Consumer Confidential: Wonder where generic drug names come from? Two women in Chicago, that's where

Business / Business News /

Reader Wayne King had a simple enough question: How do prescription drugs get named?

My initial guess was there must be some blue-ribbon panel of experts involved, or maybe a fancy computer algorithm.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

King, 80, made clear that he wasn't so interested in brand names, which drug companies typically struggle to ...Read more

Suit seeking $1.2B says Ford falsified F-150 fuel economy tests

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Drivers of the nation's top-selling vehicle, the 2018 or 2019 Ford F-150 pickup, could be spending an extra $2,000 in fuel because Ford Motor Co. falsified fuel economy tests.

That's the accusation in a lawsuit that seeks to be certified as a class action filed Monday by Seattle law firm Hagens Berman on behalf of truck consumers. ...Read more

Organic Valley rolls out ultrafiltered milk, betting on low sugar, high protein drink

Business / Business News /

Organic Valley, seeking to respond to demand for nutrient-dense beverages, on Monday unveiled the first organic, ultrafiltered milk available nationwide.

Ultrafiltered milk boasts 50% more protein and 50% less sugar than regular milk.

As people experiment with plant-based alternatives or are restricting traditional milk and cheese for health ...Read more

Liz Reyer: How to lead yet more change at a company weary from change

Business / Business News /

Q: People at my company have change fatigue, and I've been asked to lead yet another change. Teams will get reorganized somewhat and processes will change. How can I help people get energized around our new approach?

-- Bryan, 50, VP, product delivery

A: You will have a lot to do, from redesigning processes to figuring out new staffing models....Read more

Bartenders, reporters and sales reps rank among worst drivers, study says

Business / Business News /

Bartenders, ticket sales representatives and journalists are among the nation's worst drivers, while postmasters and music composers are among the best, according to an insurance industry study.

The study of 1.6 million car insurance applications by Insurify, an auto insurance comparison website, looked at what professions were the most likely ...Read more

Amid teen vaping 'epidemic,' Juul taps addiction expert as medical director

Business / Business News /

Juul Labs, the nation's leading manufacturer of e-cigarettes, has hired as its medical director a prominent University of California researcher known for his work on the dangers nicotine poses for the adolescent brain.

The company said the hire will support its efforts to stem a teen vaping craze the Food and Drug Administration has labeled an ...Read more

Employers urged to find new ways to address workers' mental health

Business / Business News /

In the middle of a work project at a global corporate consulting firm, Katherine Switz was gripped with a debilitating bout of anxiety. Her body froze, her heart raced, her chest tightened, and her mind went blank, which made it nearly impossible for her to concentrate on a computer screen and do her work.

The anxiety lasted three months, ...Read more

Bay Area workers take second jobs to get by

Business / Business News /

Marissa Federspiel has a full-time day job at a hardware store. The 31-year-old also has a night job as a paid caregiver for her elderly uncle, who lives with her. When she tries to get some sleep, she often is awakened by her 16-month-old. Now she's thinking about taking on a third gig.

"Most days I'm a walking zombie," says Federspiel, who ...Read more

Ford making another investment in Chicago assembly plant, hiring 450 more workers

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Ford announced Monday it is hiring 450 workers at its Chicago assembly plant to build its police vehicles and hybrid SUVs.

The automaker, which recently completed a $1 billion renovation of the Torrence Avenue facility on the Southeast Side, will spend $50 million to convert a nearby facility that modified vehicles for police use ...Read more

Consumer Confidential: Could glasses possibly get more expensive? Yup. A pending deal makes it likely

Business / Business News /

Incredibly, the company that has near-monopoly control over the eyewear industry may be about to get bigger, this time swallowing the business that owns the For Eyes glasses chain with stores throughout Southern California.

EssilorLuxottica, the world's largest maker of frames and lenses, owner of LensCrafters and Pearle Vision, is making a ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: Trump has turned the Department of Labor into the Department of Employer Rights

Business / Business News /

No advocates for workers' rights or labor were especially surprised last week when President Trump nominated Eugene Scalia for secretary of Labor, succeeding the utterly discredited Alex Acosta.

Scalia -- son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia -- had made his reputation in Washington as a lawyer for big corporations resisting ...Read more

Huawei helped North Korea build its wireless network, report says

Business / Business News /

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co. reportedly helped build North Korea's commercial wireless network, a revelation sure to increase scrutiny on a company already banned from doing business in the U.S.

According to unnamed sources and documents obtained by the Washington Post, Huawei worked with a Chinese state-owned firm ...Read more

How you can get a piece of the big Equifax settlement

Business / Business News /

What harm did consumers suffer from the massive Equifax data breach? Some may have had their identities stolen because their personal information was exposed. Many may have spent time and money on credit monitoring or freezes. Either way, they may be eligible for some compensation.

The fine against Equifax over the 2017 breach that affected ...Read more

Morals and money: Is conscience-driven investing Silicon Valley's VC future?

Business / Business News /

Successful Silicon Valley venture capital companies have turned Sand Hill Road, a Menlo Park boulevard lined with VC firms, into an icon of wealth, and sprinkled the region with palatial homes and gleaming Maseratis.

But there's a growing movement called "impact investing" that looks beyond financial returns to also deliver positive effects on ...Read more


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