American Airlines and US Airways will announce the details of their merger this morning after more than a year of to and fro, creating the world's largest carrier with the muscle mass to compete more effectively with United and Delta, who have themselves bulked up in recent years. The boards of both airlines approved the deal yesterday, according to a release issued early this morning on the US Airways website.
"USA Today"'s Chris Woodyard reminds us that Dustin Hoffman was a squeaky-faced kid in "The Graduate" when an Alfa Romeo last took a memorable spin in the consciousness of the Consumer Republic. Fiat, the parent of Chrysler Group, yesterday took the wraps off its return of the brand to the U.S. by introducing the "sexy new Alfa Romeo 4C." This is "after years of failed promises and delayed introductions," the "Los Angeles Times"'s David Undercoffler points out.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has not only wielded a big stick but also walked with a swagger in pushing through "we-know-what's-good-for-you" initiatives that have roused the ire of folks around the country who, for example, like to smoke where they please, tote the armament of their choice and drink large doses of soda pop without government say-so.
"They're here again," write the jaded technology writers. No, they're not talking about another zombie offering from Hollywood. Rather, it's informed speculation in the mainstream press about Apple developing a wrist device that inevitably evokes the image of Dick Tracy, the cartoon cop who sported a "2-way wrist radio" back in the day when city editors wore green celluloid eyeshades and computers filled a room.
"Fighting Nemo!" warns the headline in the New York "Daily News." "City braces for the mega-Nor'easter with the cute name and the blizzard conditions." It seems to one jaded observer, who wrote a "weather" story or two for the "Daily News" a decade or three ago, that they are making storms the way they used to not make storms. "They" being the media and marketers who know that an apple is just an apple until it's a Jazz.
Growth at fast-food and sit-down restaurant chains is coming primarily from offering lower-calorie chow and drinks, according to a study released today by the Hudson Institute that's partly funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
After weeks of aligning ducks -- most notably global technology investment firm Silver Lake but also including MSD Capital, a $2 billion loan from Microsoft and other debt financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets -- Michael Dell announced yesterday that he will lead Dell back into private hands for $13.65 in cash for each outstanding share. Dell, who now owns 14% of the company, will remain as CEO and chairman.
The 180 non-luxury-car dealerships in 15 states that sell a broad swath of automobile nameplates from "coast to coast" under the direction of AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson will all be operating under the AutoNation banner come June, the company announced last week as it released an earnings report that beat expectations.
So, how many of you just figured that there was some connection between the Cracker Barrel cheeses in the dairy section of the supermarket and the Cracker Barrel country stores on the side of America's highways and byways? There isn't, and Kraft Foods, which launched the Cracker Barrel brand natural cheese in 1954 is suing the national roadside chain, which was founded in 1969, over its plans to extend its brand into retail products that might further confuse consumers into making just such an assumption.
With a clear nod to the wallets of domestic beer guzzlers, the U.S. Department of Justice said yesterday that it would sue to block Anheuser-Busch InBev's bid to buy Mexico's Grupo Modelo, the maker of Corona beer, for $20.1 billion, which was announced last June.
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