Netflix raising Internet price for new users
Netflix is raising the price of its Internet video service by $1 for new customers in the U.S., Canada and some Latin America countries to help cover its escalating costs for shows such as "House of Cards" and other original programming. The new price of $10 per month for Netflix's standard plan — its most popular — marks the second time in 17 months that Los Gatos, Calif., company has boosted its U.S. rates by $1. The trend reflects the financial pressure that Netflix is facing as it competes against Amazon.com, HBO and other services for the rights to TV series and movies that will expand its audience. Netflix's 42 million existing U.S. subscribers are being insulated from the price bump.
Amazon launches site to compete with Etsy
Amazon.com Inc. launched its site for handcrafted goods called Handmade at Amazon, hoping to capitalize on shoppers' appetite for homemade goods ahead of the holiday season. The move throws down the gauntlet to craft-selling site Etsy. But at least at the time of launch, the two sites will have a very different seller base, fee structure and stances on manufacturing. Amazon started offering invitations in May to join Handmade, giving sellers access to Amazon's 285 million shoppers. The Seattle-based retailer says the site sprang from customer feedback and site searches for crafty items.
Initial jobless claims declined last week
Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, as employers hold on to workers despite a slowdown in hiring because of global pressures weighing on the U.S. economy. The Labor Department said that weekly applications for jobless aid fell 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 263,000. The four-week average, a less volatile figure, has fallen 8.2 percent over the past year to 267,500. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. Recent lows had pointed to greater confidence among employers. The drop in weekly applications has reduced the total number of people receiving benefits. There are 2.2 million Americans collecting jobless aid, close to the lowest total since November 2000.
Tribune looking into selling Tribune Tower
Tribune Media Co. said it has hired a real estate investment banker to explore the sale of its Tribune Tower, its headquarters that sits on three acres along Chicago's Michigan Avenue. In a statement, Tribune Real Estate President Murray McQueen said the landmark building is expected to attract interest from "a broad range of private and institutional investors and developers." The 36-story, neo-Gothic building houses the Chicago Tribune and other tenants. The building has 737,000 square feet, but the entire site is zoned for up to 2.4 million square feet.