eBay and Pay Pal to split, Rupert Murdoch takes on Zillow and Trulia, and Viagra's got something for the ladies. Read about these and other of the day's top business news stories.
Private Sector Employment Increased by 213,000 Jobs in September
Private sector employment increased by 213,000 jobs between August and September, according to the September ADP Small Business Report released Wednesday.
Goods-producing employment rose by 58,000 in September, while the construction industry added 20,000 jobs and manufacturing 35,000 jobs, the highest total in that sector since May 2010. Employment for businesses with 49 or fewer employees increased by 88,000 jobs in September.
Going, Going, Gone: eBay and Pay Pal to Split
eBay announced Tuesday that its PayPal division would be spun off as a new company next year, Forbes reports. In 2013, PayPal moved $180 billion in 26 currencies across 193 nations. Its revenue jumped 20 percent to $6.6 billion–41percent of eBay’s total and 36 percent of its profits. The move, long resisted by eBay CEO Jack Donahoe, but championed by investor Carl Icahn, was prompted in part by Apple’s entry into mobile payment. Former American Express president, Dan Schulman, will lead the new PayPal and Devin Wenig, the current head of eBay marketplaces, will be eBay’s CEO. Donahoe will step down after the spin-off but hold a seat on both boards.
Consumer Confidence Falls to Four-Month Low
The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its confidence index fell to 86, its lowest reading since May. It was the first decline after four months of gains and followed a revised 93.4 in August, which had been the highest reading since October 2007, two months before the Great Recession officially began, the Associated Press reports. The fall in the index was the biggest monthly drop since October 2013, when the federal government was shut down for 16 days. September’s decline is being attributed to heightened global tensions, but analysts expect it to be temporary in light of such positive economic developments as a significant drop in gas prices. A separate consumer sentiment survey released last week by the University of Michigan posted its highest reading since July 2013.
Murdoch, News Corp. on the Move
Rupert Murdoch Murdoch's News Corp. announced Tuesday a deal to buy Move Inc., parent of Realtor.com, the nation’s third-largest real estate listings website, for $950 million. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the year, would put the parent company of the Wall Street Journal in direct competition with online listing giants Zillow and Trulia, which themselves announced a merger agreement in July. Real estate ads are a $14 billion-a-year business, and this deal is seen as a strategy for News Corp. to diversify beyond its core business of print newspapers.
Viagra Ads Debuts Ad that Targets Women
Viagra, the bestselling erectile dysfunction drug, debuted Tuesday a new 60-second commercial that targets women. In the unprecedented ad, a woman speaks directly to men about impotence. The game-changing commercial is seen as an attempt by Pfizer, the world's second-biggest drugmaker, to boost sales of Viagra, which is facing new, generic competition as its patent expires. Patents give a drug a monopoly, generally for 20 years. Since its patent expired in Europe 15 months ago, Viagra sales have fallen 8 percent to $1.9 billion. The brand will get generic competition in the U.S. in three years. Since Viagra was introduced in 1998, women in ads for ED drugs have been relegated to the background or been absent, though they are collateral damage of erectile dysfunction.
California Bags Plastic Bags
California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores, driven to action by pollution in streets and waterways, the Associated Press reports. The law marks a major victory for environmental activists, but a national coalition of plastic bag manufacturers immediately said it would seek a voter referendum to repeal the law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2015. Under the law, plastic bags will be phased out of checkout counters at large grocery stores and supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Target starting next summer, and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016. The law does not apply to bags used for fruits, vegetables or meats, or to shopping bags used at other retailers. It allows grocers to charge a fee of at least 10 cents for using paper bags.