Airline merger still up in air
DALLAS — 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
NEW YORK — 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
NEW YORK — 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
DETROIT — 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.
Boeing 787 fire inquiry grows
MINNEAPOLIS — Federal safety investigators intensified their scrutiny of a Monday fire aboard a Boeing 787 as concerned investors sold shares in the aircraft maker for a second day. Boeing on Tuesday confirmed that the fire aboard a Japan Airlines plane appeared to have started in a battery pack for the plane's auxiliary power unit. The National Transportation Safety Board described the fire damage to the battery as “severe,” and said it is sending two more investigators to examine the Japan Airlines plane. It also formed investigative groups to look at the plane's electrical systems as well as the fire response. Boeing has a lot riding on the 787. The long-range jet promises a smoother travel experience and is 20 percent more fuel efficient than older models. After years of delays, Boeing has now delivered 49 of the planes, with almost 800 more on order.
Super Bowl ads are sold out
NEW YORK — Super Bowl ads have sold for more than $4 million for some 30-second spots for this year's game. CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves said Tuesday that all the commercials for the NFL championship Feb. 3 in New Orleans were sold out. Companies paid an average of $3.5 million for a 30-second spot last year. TV's biggest event averaged more than 111 million viewers in 2012.
Eurozone joblessness rises
BRUSSELS — Record unemployment and fraying social welfare systems in southern Europe risk creating a new divide in the continent, the EU warned Tuesday, after figures showed joblessness across the 17 EU countries that use the euro hit a new high. Eurozone unemployment rose to 11.8 percent in November, the highest since the euro currency was founded in 1999, according to the statistical agency Eurostat. The rate was up from 11.7 percent in October and 10.6 percent a year earlier. In the wider 27-nation European Union, the world's largest economic bloc with 500 million people, unemployment broke the 26 million mark for the first time.
Google chairman visits N. Korea
PYONGYANG, North Korea — Students at North Korea's premier university showed Google's executive chairman Tuesday how they look for information online: they Google it. But surfing the Internet that way is the privilege of only a very few in North Korea, whose authoritarian government imposes strict limits on access to the Web. Google's Eric Schmidt got a first look at North Korea's limited Internet usage when an American delegation that he and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson are leading visited a computer lab at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang.
From Wire Reports