Business Briefs – March 18, 2019

AP Source: Justice Dept. Probing Development of Boeing Jets

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. prosecutors are looking into the development of Boeing’s 737 Max jets, a person briefed on the matter revealed Monday, the same day French aviation investigators concluded there were “clear similarities” in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 last week and a Lion Air jet in October. The Justice Department probe will examine the way Boeing was regulated by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the inquiry is private.

Lyft Opens Up Its IPO Road Show, Offers 30 Million Shares

NEW YORK (AP) – Lyft officially kicked off the road show for its initial public offering with more than 30 million shares expected to sell for between $62 and $68 per share. That would raise more than $2 billion for the San Francisco ride-hailing company, which could be valued between $20 billion and $25 billion eventually.

Fed Set to Signal No Expectation Of Rate Hikes Anytime Soon

WASHINGTON (AP) – The message the Federal Reserve is poised to send when its latest policy meeting ends this week is a soothing one. It reflects an abrupt shift in tone since the start of the year. The shift toward a more hands-off Fed has pleased stock investors and encouraged the view that the central bank is done raising rates for now and might even act soon to support rather than restrain the economy.

From Dollars to Bytes: Digital Payment Tech Companies Merge

NEW YORK (AP) – Payment processing company Fidelity National Information Services is buying Worldpay for about $35 billion in cash and stock as financial transactions increasingly move online. Including debt, the deal is valued at $43 billion. Worldpay, an e-commerce “crown jewel,” processes over 40 billion transactions a year and supports more than 300 payment types across more than 120 currencies.

Group With Consumer-Friendly Vibe Pushes Drugmakers’ Message

WASHINGTON (AP) – As Congress and President Donald Trump’s administration aim to lower prescription drug costs, outside groups like the Alliance for Patient Access are seeking to sway the outcome. But not all of these organizations are clear about who they actually represent. Their names can obscure the source of the message, and they’re cagey about where they get their funding.

Former VP of United Auto Workers Charged in Corruption Probe

DETROIT (AP) – A former vice president at the United Auto Workers has been charged with conspiracy in a scheme with Fiat Chrysler executives to buy meals, golf and other perks with money from the automaker. It’s the latest development in the government’s investigation of how officials at Fiat Chrysler and the UAW enriched themselves by using money set aside for a job-training center. The conspiracy charge against Norwood Jewell was filed Monday as a criminal information, which means a guilty plea is likely.

Apple Refreshes iPad Lineup, With Larger Entry-Level Model

NEW YORK (AP) – Apple has unveiled a new iPad that’s thinner and slightly larger than its current entry-level tablet. The new iPad Air will cost $499 and sport a screen that measures 10.5 inches diagonally. That compares with the standard, 9.7-inch iPad at $329. Apple is also refreshing its 7.9-inch iPad Mini for the first time in more than three years.

Foxconn Says Wisconsin Factory Will Be Operational in 2020

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Foxconn Technology Group said Monday that its manufacturing facility in Wisconsin will be producing flat-screen panels by the end of 2020, with construction starting later this year.

The news came after the worldwide electronics manufacturing leader sent mixed signals earlier this year about whether it planned to suspend work in Wisconsin. After a meeting with President Donald Trump, Foxconn’s leader recommitted to building a smaller manufacturing facility in Wisconsin than what was originally promised.

The Taiwan-based Foxconn is building what is known as a Generation 6 factory, which typically makes smaller liquid crystal display screens for cellphones, tablets, televisions and other devices. It first said it was going to build a larger Generation 10 plant, which would have used glass more than three-times as large as what the smaller facility will use.