Business Briefs – November 14, 2018

Big Question for Amazon’s 2 Chosen Cities: Will It Pay Off?

WASHINGTON (AP) – The awarding of Amazon’s second headquarters to two affluent localities has fanned intense speculation around a key question: For the winning cities, will the economic payoff prove to be worth the cost? Amazon’s decision will bring to Arlington, Virginia, and to the Long Island City section of New York jobs and investment. But the influx is sure to swell already-high home prices and apartment rents.


Buffett’s Firm Invests in JP Morgan Chase, Drops Walmart

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Investor Warren Buffett’s company picked up nearly 36 million shares of JP Morgan Chase stock in the third quarter and eliminated its stake in Walmart as part of a number of changes in its portfolio.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. filed a quarterly update on its stocks with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based company also revealed a new stake in software maker Oracle of 41.4 million shares.

Investors follow what Berkshire buys and sells closely because of Buffett’s successful track record.

California’s PG&E Rocked as Wildfire Liability Concerns Rise

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – PG&E’s stock has lost more than 20 percent of its value Wednesday after the utility said it does not have nearly enough insurance coverage if it is found liable for a Northern California wildfire that has left at least 48 people dead and destroyed about 7,700 homes. San Francisco based Pacific Gas & Electric Co. told Wall Street regulators that if its equipment were found to have caused the fire it “could be subject to significant liability in excess of insurance coverage.”

EU Trade Chief Says Hit List of U.S. Products Being Developed

WASHINGTON (AP) – European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom says that the EU is preparing a target list of American products it will hit with punitive tariffs if the Trump administration goes through with its threat to impose tariffs on European auto imports. Malmstrom reported no breakthroughs on resolving the auto dispute or the battle over tariffs the United States has already imposed on steel and aluminum imports.

U.S. Government: 3 SKorean Firms To Pay $236M in Bid-Rig Plot

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department says three South Korean companies have agreed to pay $236 million to settle allegations they were part of a bid-rigging scheme that overcharged the U.S. military for fuel at bases in South Korea. The settlement of the criminal and civil charges was announced Wednesday. The three companies will pay about $82 million in criminal fines. They’ll also pay $154 million in civil damages.

Volkswagen to Devote 3 German Plants to Electric Car Push

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – German automaker Volkswagen says it will convert three factories in Germany to manufacture electric cars, getting ready to ramp up production ahead of tougher European emissions standards. The company said on Wednesday it would begin local production of electric-powered vehicles at its facilities in Emden and Hannover in 2022. A plant in Zwickau was designated previously for e-car production. Volkswagen personnel head Gunnar Kilian says workers were given a jobs guarantee through 2028.

Feds Subpoena Snap Over Shareholder Lawsuit

NEW YORK (AP) – Snap Inc. has received federal subpoenas related to a class-action lawsuit stemming from its 2017 initial public offering. The lawsuit, filed last May, claims that Snap misled investors about its user growth before going public. The company said in a statement Wednesday that it has been responding to subpoenas and requests for information from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.

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