Business

Business
3:42 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Toyota Settles Its Recall Lawsuit with Texas

The suit involved whether Toyota did enough to notify drivers of dangerous defects.
courtesy flickr.com/danielctw

Toyota has settled with Texas and 29 other states that investigated the car company for dangerous defects that came to light in 2009.

The states investigated whether Toyota adequately disclosed that voluntary recalls included popular models like the Camry, Tundra and Prius.

Toyota is now required to enhance safety procedures, pay back customers, and pay $217,000 in attorneys’ fees for the state of Texas.

Business
6:12 am
Thu February 14, 2013

American, US Airways Boards Approve Merger

A US Airways jet rests on the tarmac near an American Airlines plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:56 am

Update at 6:50 a.m. ET, Feb. 14: News Is Confirmed.

Statements confirming the news that directors of US Airways and American Airlines have agreed to merge the airlines have now been released by both companies.

American says:

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Business
2:49 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Second Dell Shareholder Opposes Buyout

An image from Dell Technology Camp 2013
Dell/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/dellphotos/

Another major shareholder of Dell says the Round Rock-based computer company is shortchanging its shareholders on a buyout offer to take the company private.

T. Rowe Price CEO Brian Rogers said in a statement that the proposal of $13.65 a share "does not reflect the value of Dell and we do not intend to support the offer as put forward.”

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business
7:27 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Dell Keeps Pushing for Buyout

Michael Dell is trying buy shares back at what some consider to be a meager price.
flickr.com/dellphotos

Round Rock-based Dell is defending its decision to go private, despite growing concerns from some major shareholders.

Dell issued a statement today reasserting that taking the computer maker private is the best move for the company. "In the course of its deliberations, the Special Committee of Dell’s Board considered an array of strategic alternatives," the statement reads. "The Board concluded that the proposed all-cash transaction is in the best interests of stockholders."

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Business
2:43 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Dell Shareholder Wants to Block Buyout

Dell's headquarters in Round Rock
Dell

A company that owns a stake in Dell says it plans to use “all options at its disposal” to stop a $24 billion buyout of the Round Rock-based company. Southeastern Asset Management is based in Memphis and owns 8.5 percent of Dell’s outstanding shares.

The company says in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the buyout price of $13.65 per share is too low. 

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Business
8:03 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Seeing Fewer Cars on the Road Today? Here's Why

The City of Austin is encouraging employees to work from home today.
flickr.com/_fabio

If you’re going into work today, you must not have gotten the memo.

Today, many City of Austin employees and employees from some local business are partaking in Austin’s first “Work from Home Day." It's a citywide initiative to reduce the environmental impact of thousands of people driving to work.

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Business
5:37 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Perry Launches Pro-Texas Business Tour in California

Gov. Rick Perry at a State Board of Education meeting on Feb. 1, 2013.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Californians heard from Texas Gov. Rick Perry on radio airwaves this week. Next week, they can expect to see the man himself, pitching Texas as the business frontier to high tech, insurance and film industry leaders throughout the Golden State.

Perry will begin his recruitment road trip on Sunday, traveling to San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Orange County. He will return to Texas on Wednesday, according to a schedule released Thursday.

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Business
4:06 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Dell Inc. Comes With Pile of Cash

The company is sitting on $14 billion in offshore accounts.
courtesy Dell Inc.

If you’re spending $24 billion to buy a company, it’s important to know that that company also has $14 billion in cash. That’s Dell’s situation exactly, according to its most recent financial filings. But there’s a catch: it’s in overseas accounts.

Company founder Michael Dell, who’s trying to buy the company, can touch that money, but he’ll pay a steep price, according to Lillian Mills, chairwoman of the Accounting Department at UT’s McCombs School of Business. She says that money was earned outside the United States, and if it comes home, it’s subject to U.S. taxes.

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Business
5:42 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Lawmakers Focus on Eagle Ford Shale

A legislative group wants to help guide the effects of the drilling boom in South Texas.
Eddie Seal, Texas Tribune

In the latest report on state sales tax revenues, some towns are reporting huge increases in sales tax collections.

Asherton, for example, saw its January sales tax grow by 191 percent. Asherton is near the Eagle Ford Shale, an area being transformed by the oil and gas drilling boom.

As Mose Buchele reports for StateImpact Texas, a new bipartisan group of state lawmakers hoping to guide that transformation hosted its first meeting today at the Capitol.

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National
7:15 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Reports: Postal Service Will Move To Halt Saturday Mail

Letter carrier Raymond Hou delivering mail on his route in San Francisco (March 2010 file photo).
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 2:57 pm

(We updated the top of this post at 10:37 a.m. ET.)

Calling it "absolutely necessary" if the U.S. Postal Service is going to stop losing billions of dollars a year and reach anything close to financial stability, Postmaster Gen. Patrick Donahoe confirmed Wednesday morning that USPS is moving to eliminate Saturday delivery of first-class mail.

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Business
7:42 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Austin Airport Breaks Passenger Record in 2012

Ihwa Cheng/KUT News

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport saw more passengers last year than it ever has before. About 9.4 million people departed from or arrived to the airport in 2012. That was a four percent increase from 2011.

ABIA added more non-stop flights last year, including service to Washington D.C., Portland, and Philadelphia. And 200,000 people came through for the Formula One race in November.

But officials say they don’t expect to see the same gains in 2013. 

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Business
10:56 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Michael Dell Taking Company Private (Updated)

It's showtime: Michael Dell at a 2012 Dell World event.
flickr.com/dellphotos

Update: Dell's announcement this morning has thousands of Austin employees wondering how going private will affect them.

John Doggett is a Senior Lecturer at UT’s McCombs School of Business. He expects layoffs at Dell.

“I expect they will substantially reduce their PC group by most likely getting rid of consumer PCs and anybody in that group may lose their job," Doggett said. "They will also get out of their investor relations group because they don’t have any investors to talk to in the public. They probably will also not do any or many acquisitions... And I expect those who can leave, are going to leave. There’s going to be an exodus if they feel that their job is at risk."

Michael Dell sent an email out to employees shortly before 8:30 this morning.

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Real Estate
1:11 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Texas Home Sales End Year on a Bang

Bunches and Bits/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/bunchesandbits/4714938136/

The Texas real estate market rang out 2012 on a high note, according to the latest reading from the Texas Association of Realtors. It says 56,488 single-family were sold across the state in the fourth quarter of last year. That's an increase of almost 20 percent over the same period in 2011. 

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Business
6:08 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Service Businesses Getting Less Optimistic

Restaurant and other service business owners worry that people will be spending less.
courtesy flickr.com/drmillerlg

The Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas sees some signs that the Texas economy could be softening. The Dallas Fed’s monthly report on service businesses shows a decline in expectations about business growth.

Dallas Fed economist Jesus Canas says that there’s less optimism among service business owners than there was a year ago, and that’s mostly because of conditions in the national economy.

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Immigration
7:40 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Immigration Overhaul Good for Business?

The bipartisan proposal calls for a path to citizenship and increased border security
Flickr user Noah Jacquemin, bit.ly/127bpAP

Yesterday’s bipartisan Senate proposal to overhaul the immigration system has drawn praise and criticism from both sides of the aisle. In Texas, one question remains: is immigration good or bad for business? 

The proposal from eight U.S. Senators calls for increased border security and a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country.

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Business
6:33 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Japan Could Eat More Texas Beef

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Texas ranchers are applauding Japan’s move to ease restrictions on U.S. beef. Japan will allow imports of meat from American cattle aged 30 months or younger, instead of the current 20 months, according to a statement from the U.S. government. 

“There were a bunch of these cattle that we could not prove they were under 20 months," said Pete Bonds, a rancher in Fort Worth and a vice president with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

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Business
12:05 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

BBB: Austin Air Duct Company is Cleaning Customers' Wallets

The Better Business Bureau is warning Austin consumers from doing business with a local duct cleaning company.
flickr.com/icyaero-photography

An Austin-based air duct cleaning company is looking a little dirty.

A company known alternately as Austin City Air Ducts, ANS Air Ducts, AC Air Ducts and AOS Air Ducts, advertises cleaning services in ValPak coupons and on group buying websites like Eversave. But the Better Business Bureau says it received several complaints about the company from consumers in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas/Forth Worth.

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Business
5:05 am
Thu January 24, 2013

How a Private Dell Deal Might Go

The computer giant Dell has its headquarters in Round Rock.
courtesy Dell Inc.

Update: This article has been edited to correct when Larry Stern saw fliers for Dell on the UT campus. It was not 1981, but some point later in the 1980s.

Dell says that recent talk of a buyout is only speculation, but there’s still a whole lot of speculating going on, including about how a possible deal might work, and what it might mean for Austin.

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Labor
12:57 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Union Membership Continues Decline; Now At Lowest Level Since 1930s

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 11:34 am

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says union membership continues to decline in the United States.

In 2012, American Union membership rate dropped to 11.3 percent from 11.8 percent in 2011. As The Washington Post reports, that's the lowest level since the 1930s.

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Economy
3:55 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

While Austin's Unemployment Rate Inches Up, Texas' Falls

Construction was the fastest growing industry in Texas in 2012.
flickr.com/devar/

Austin’s unemployment rose from 4.9 to 5 percent in December, while Texas’s overall unemployment dropped to 6.1 percent from 7.4 percent last year.

Mark Lavergne, spokesperson for the Texas Workforce Commission, said the change in unemployment in Austin is a slight change. What is more significant, he said, was the unemployment change in Austin and Texas in the past year. Austin’s unemployment has dropped to 5 percent from 6.1 a year ago, while Texas’s unemployment rate has fallen from 7.4 percent to 6.1 in the past year.

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