Nation, world business highlights, Jan. 9

Nation, world business highlights, Jan. 9
Oklahoman Published: January 9, 2013

Business briefs

Nation

Airline merger still up in air

— Directors of American Airlines' parent company likely won't make a decision when they meet Wednesday to consider a possible merger with US Airways, even as momentum for a deal is building. Investors have been bidding up US Airways' stock price, and leaders of the two pilot unions agree on how to combine contracts, two developments that analysts say strengthen the case for a tie-up. Still there could be a way to go. American parent AMR Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2011, and US Airways Group Inc. have been talking about a potential merger since late summer but have not agreed on price, each side's ownership share, and who would run the company, according to people familiar with the situation.

Live online television to expand

— The Barry Diller-backed Internet company that challenged cable and satellite TV services by offering inexpensive live television online plans to expand beyond New York City this spring. In the wake of a federal court ruling that tentatively endorsed its legality, Aereo will bring its $8-a-month service to Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington and 18 other markets in the U.S., as well as to New York's suburbs. For the past year, the service had been limited to New York City residents as the company fine-tuned its technology and awaited guidance on whether its unlicensed use of free, over-the-air broadcasts amounted to a copyright violation. A federal judge in New York ruled in July that the service doesn't appear to violate copyright law because individual subscribers are assigned their own, tiny antenna at Aereo's Brooklyn data center, making it analogous to the free signal a consumer would get with a regular antenna at home.

Target to match online prices

— Target Corp. is pledging to match prices of select online rivals year-round, a move that underscores how physical and online retailing are meshing together. Matching online prices is rare but expected to become more common as shoppers move increasingly online. Target, the nation's second largest discounter behind Walmart Stores Inc., said it will match prices that customers find on identical products at top online retailers, all the time. The online list includes Amazon.com as well as the websites of Walmart, Best Buy, Toys R Us and Babies R Us. Target's move follows a similar holiday price match that began Nov. 1 and ended Dec. 16. Target is also making permanent its holiday offer of matching prices of items found at its stores with its website.

Chevrolet to begin new tagline

— Chevrolet is dropping its “Chevy Runs Deep” slogan and replacing it with the new tagline “Find New Roads,” saying that it's better geared toward drivers outside the U.S. The General Motors Co. brand pointed to its significant overseas expansion over the past several years, noting that it's developing products for sale in more than 140 markets around the world. “‘Find New Roads' will enable the whole company to rally around a consistent theme for the brand, and at the same time serve as an external message that works in all markets,” GM marketing chief Alan Batey said in a statement. “The theme has meaning in mature markets like the U.S. as well as emerging markets like Russia and India, where the potential for continued growth is the greatest,” he said.

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