Intel must pay its billion dollar European fine. AT&T explains its deal to acquire DirecTV. U.S. retail sales are unimpressive in May. More news of the day.
Lululemon Adjusts Earnings Numbers
Lululemon Athletica, the firm which suffered through the “see-through yoga pants” problem in 2013, had quarterly results slightly better than expectations, the company reported Thursday. The Canadian yoga wear company also announced it is trimming its revenue and earnings forecasts for the coming year. The company also announced its Chief Financial Officer John Currie is retiring by the end of the fiscal year. The company previously announced a $450 million share buyback program as well. The company said its profit for the last quarter was 34 cents a share, and analysts had expected earnings of 32 cents a share.
Amazon Adds Music Streaming To Its Portfolio
In an attempt to compete with other firms, Amazon launched a new streaming music service Thursday as part of its $99 Prime subscription service, which also includes free video streaming and free delivery. “Prime Music’’ is the name of the service, and it is supposed to offer unlimited ad-free music streaming, free with an Amazon Prime membership. Steve Boom, head of Amazon’s digital music department, said that because the service is free with Prime, it delivers more service than a stand-alone streaming service that can cost up to $10 per month. The service will not include the newest music which is given a six-month delay after albums are released.
AT&T Defends DirecTV Deal
AT&T’s proposed acquisition of DirecTV would provide greater access to consumers of video in a variety of media and given the company a chance to compete with larger cable companies, AT&T told U.S. communications regulators Wednesday. AT&T is currently the No. 2 wireless communication carrier. The company told regulators why its proposed $48.5 billion deal to purchase DirecTV would benefit consumers in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, which has to sign off on the deal. "Each company cannot provide on its own what consumers increasingly demand: an integrated and efficient bundle of high-speed broadband and high-quality video from a single provider," AT&T said in its filing.
Intel Loses Its Fight With The European Union
Intel, the United States-based computer chipmaker, lost its bid to erase the record 1.06 billion euro (translated to $1.44 billionUS) fine handed down by European Union antitrust regulators five years ago for blocking the efforts of rival Advanced Micro Devices. In a 2009 decision, the EU said Intel tried to stop AMD by giving rebates to PC makers such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo for buying their chips rather than going with AMD. The EU competition authority said Intel also paid German retail chain Media Saturn Holding to stock only computers with its chips. Judges said the fine was fair because it represented just 4.15 percent of Intel’s 2008 revenue balance as opposed to the possible maximum fine of 10 percent.
Expedia Accepting Bitcoins
The bitcoin phenomenon got another supporter Wednesday when Expedia announced it is now accepting the digital currency for hotel payments. “Bitcoin is a great example of how Expedia is investing early in an array of payment options to give our customers and partners more choice in the ways they interact with us,” said Expedia vice president Michael Gulmann. Bitcoin was created in 2009 as a form of currency which could be operated independent of government. In the past three months Bitcoin has exchanged for as little as $395 and as much as $659. Expedia is partnering with Coinbase, a Bitcoin payment processor, to facilitate the transactions.
U.S. Retail Sales Up, But Not Enough
U.S. retail sales growth did not reach expectations in May, as the Commerce Department announced Thursday sales rose just 0.3 percent after an 0.5 percent rise in April. Economists had expected a sales increase of 0.6 percent. Retail sales account for one third of consumer spending in the United States. So-called core sales, which takes out automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, were unchanged in May. Automobile receipts in May rose 1.4 percent.