Sprint sues to stop deal
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Sprint is suing to stop Dish Network's buyout of wireless data network operator Clearwire. The nation's third-largest cellphone carrier said the proposed deal violates the rights of Sprint and other Clearwire shareholders. Dish has offered to pay $4.40 per share for Clearwire, which has recommended that its shareholders approve the offer. That reverses its earlier stance in support of a takeover bid by Sprint, its majority shareholder. Sprint has bid $3.40 per share for the minority stake in Clearwire it doesn't already own.
Consumer prices tick up
WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer prices rose slightly last month, as higher energy costs partly offset cheaper food. The small increase is evidence consumers are benefiting from mild inflation. The consumer price index ticked up a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in May from April, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Over the past 12 months, prices have risen just 1.4 percent. Excluding volatile food and gas costs, core prices rose 0.2 percent in May from April. Core prices are up just 1.7 percent the past 12 months.
Video game sales decline
NEW YORK — U.S. retail sales of video games, hardware and accessories declined 25 percent in May as demand for aging game consoles continued to fade and fewer new games launched compared with last year, according to market researcher NPD Group. NPD said late Monday that total video game sales were $386.3 million, down from $517 million in May 2012. The decline comes as Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. are getting ready to launch new consoles later this year. The Xbox One, successor to Microsoft's Xbox 360, and PlayStation 4, successor to Sony's PS3, are expected to boost holiday season game sales.
Building permits jump
WASHINGTON — U.S. builders stepped up home construction in May and applied for permits to build single-family homes at the fastest pace in five years. The gains show housing remains a key source of growth for the economy. The overall pace of homes started rose 6.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 914,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That offset part of the 14.8 percent decline in April.
Doughnut ad won't return
NEW YORK — Don't expect to see Dunkin' Donuts revive its famous “Time to make the doughnuts” ad campaign anytime soon. Paul Carbone, chief financial officer for Dunkin Brands Group Inc., said at the Jefferies Global Consumer Conference on Tuesday that the company gets asked all the time when it's going to bring back the ad starring the perpetually tired baker who gets up early every morning to make doughnuts. “He's not coming back,” Carbone said, noting that the chain has shifted toward beverages, which are the “holy grail” when it comes to profitability. Dunkin' says the “Time to make the doughnuts” ads ran for 15 years until 1997, when the actor who played Fred the Baker announced his retirement. The actor, Michael Vale, died in 2005.
Woman wants card fees
PHILADELPHIA — Would you like fees with that? A Pennsylvania woman wants just the beef, not the fees she says she'll be charged to get her McDonald's wages from a debit card. Single mom Natalie Gunshannon has filed suit over bank fees that allegedly include $1.00 to check her balance, $1.50 to withdraw cash and $15 to replace a lost card. The 27-year-old Gunshannon, who lives near Wilkes-Barre, says the JPMorgan Chase payroll card was her only payment option. Her suit names franchise owners Albert and Carol Mueller, who employ about 800 people at 16 McDonald's restaurants in northeastern Pennsylvania. Gunshannon's lawyer, Michael Cefalo, says employers and banks are “squeezing the most vulnerable” workers.