Target agrees to $10 million setllement, the FAA clears Amazon drones for takeoff and a elf-driving Tesla top our roundup of the day's top business news stories.
Target to Settle Data Breach for $10 Million
U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson at a hearing Thursday in St. Paul, endorsed a settlement in which Target Corp. will pay $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over a massive data breach in 2013, the Associated Press reports. The move will allow people to begin filing claims ahead of another hearing for final approval, which he'll hold in late October or early November. People affected by the breach can file for up to $10,000 with proof of their losses, including unauthorized charges, higher fees or interest rates, and lost time dealing with the problem. Target's data was breached in 2013. It exposed details of as many as 40 million credit and debit card accounts and hurt its holiday sales that year. The company offered free credit monitoring for affected customers and overhauled its security systems.
Cruise Lines Suspend Tunisia Visits
Costa Crociere and MSC Cruises suspended visits to Tunisia on Thursday after gunmen killed 17 passengers from their ships in an attack during a visit to the National Bardo Museum. The massacre delivered immediate economic blow to the North African country that depends strongly on tourism. Both ships left on Thursday morning with their remaining passengers for Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, respectively.
Costa said it would pay to fly passengers home if they didn't want to continue with the cruise. MSC said it was suspending Tunisian ports of call for the rest of the 2015 summer season, with its ships docking instead in Malta, Palma de Mallorca, Sardinia or Corfu, Greece. Costa didn't say how long its suspension would last and that it was still figuring out alternative itineraries, the Associated Press reports.
FAA Clears Amazon Drones for Takeoff
The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday approved Amazon Logistics Inc. to fly drones experimentally, USA TODAY reports. The approval will allow the company to conduct research, development and crew training for deliveries called Amazon Prime Air. The approval allows Amazon to fly remote-controlled aircraft lower than 400 feet during daylight hours. The pilot must have a private pilot's certificate, must keep the aircraft within view of the pilot or a “visual observer,” and restrict flight at least 500 feet away from people not associated with the experiments. Amazon is the highest-profile company to get FAA approval to fly drones commercially.
BNY Will Pay $714 Million
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday that Bank of New York Mellon has reached settlements over fraudulent foreign exchange practices and will pay $714 million to handle the claims involved. The bank agreed to settle with the U.S. Department of Justice, the New York Attorney General, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as well as numerous private class actions. BNY Mellon admitted it had promised to give its customers the best interbank market price of the day on foreign exchange transactions, but actually gave them the worst possible price, according to a release from the New York Attorney General. BNY Mellon admitted wrongdoing and aid executives involved would love their jobs.
Your Tesla Will Drive Itself
During a press conference Thursday, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said the new Model S will have an auto-steering capability that will be ready in there months and allow the car to go from San Francisco to Seattle without the driver handling any of the duties. Musk also announced a new software update on the vehicle that will reduce concerns over battery charging and range. According to Musk, the new auto-steering technology will mean the driver will not have to control the steering wheel, acceleration or braking when the car is on a highway. The new battery software will warn Model S drivers before they drive out of the range of a charging station, and will plan routes to the nearest available charging location.
Tiffany Blames the Dollar
The strong U.S. dollar hurt quarterly sales for upscale jeweler Tiffany & Co., which said sales fell for the first time in five years. The company said it expects further drops in the current quarter as well. Sales fell 1 percent in the fourth quarter that ended January 31, and are expected to drop 10 percent in the quarter which ends in April. Profit is expected to fall 30 percent, the company said. Tiffany announced that the stronger dollar not only reduced the value of sales outside the United States, but also hurt sales to tourists that visit the U.S.