Just weeks after a legislator voiced concern that a shrinking airline industry has perpetuated potential anti-competitive behavior aimed at keeping the price of airfare high, the Department of Justice revealed it is looking into the possibility of collusion between airlines.
It hasn’t even been two years since U.S. Airways called off its pre-nuptial pillow talk with United Airlines, opting instead to remain single. And while it hasn’t rebounded as quickly as its spurned beau, who ran off with that Continental cad only a few shot months later, a new report says that U.S. Airlines is considering the possibility of a happily ever after ending with American Airlines.
Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second largest cable operator, will soon get a little bit larger, announcing today that it has acquired Midwestern television operator Insight Communications for $3 billion.
Lala, the music streaming/backup service that’s also a reasonably priced mp3 store, has been purchased by Apple. Does this mean Apple may introduce some sort of streaming service in the future? On Lala, you can pay 10 cents per song to stream it as much as you want, or $.99-1.29 to own it outright. At any rate, if you buy from Lala now, you’re buying from Apple.
Wells Fargo is the winner in the battle for Wachovia, says the New York Times. Apparently, Citibank became nervous about splitting the bank when they saw the size of the “bad assets” it would have to take on, and quietly walked away. The bank will continue to seek $60 billion in damages, however.
Two readers have forwarded us a second email sent out by Citibank today, but it’s not another vaguely worded PR blast from the CEO. Instead, this one announces that Citibank is adopting the zero-tolerance approach to late payments favored by the credit card industry—miss a payment due date and you’ll lose any interest rate discount(s) you currently enjoy.
An unnamed source has told Reuters that American Airlines is in talks with US Airways about a possible merger—and that it’s also in talks with Continental about sharing passengers! Meanwhile, Continental is currently in talks with United about a possible merger of its own, and has said it will only choose one partner eventually. United, on the other hand, is not only pursuing Continental but is also in talks with US Airways about a merger. Yes, we have an airlines romantic triangle, folks. Someone’s heart is going to end up broken.
Consolidation loans are no longer profitable for Sallie Mae, so it’s saying goodbye to them. SmartMoney points out that ultimately this shouldn’t matter for students taking out new loans, since the original point of consolidation—converting lots of variable rate loans into a nice predictable fixed rate loan—is no longer relevant (all federal student loans are now disbursed with fixed interest rates.) SmartMoney says if you still have variable rate loans you need/want to consolidate, check out the government’s consolidation offering—”You’re likely to pay the same consolidation rates you’d pay if you did so with Sallie Mae,” they write.
Join us at 10 a.m. for the FCC’s showdown with the Senate Commerce Committee. The hearing comes one day after Democratic Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps pilloried Chairman Kevin Martin’s plan to allow one company to control a newspaper and television or radio station in the same city as: “a mish-mash of half-baked ideas.”
Liveblogging The Media Consolidation Showdown Between The FCC And The House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee
Starting today at 9:30 a.m. the House will drag FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and his colleagues before the Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee to explain their misguided and widely-criticized media consolidation plan that would allow one company to control several radio and television stations in the same city. The hearing comes two days after John Dingell (D-MI,) who will be chairing the hearing, accused Martin of abusing his power and intentionally keeping his fellow Commissioners in the dark. Just yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee voted to ban the FCC from moving forward with their planned vote until they first complete a comprehensive study of broadcasters’ commitment to local news and ownership opportunities for women and minorities.
Bill Moyers produced an excellent segment on media consolidation and its disproportionate impact on minorities. African Americans and Hispanics account for over a quarter of the population, but own just 33 of the nation’s 1,350 television stations, and only 6% of radio stations. According to Melody Spann-Cooper, owner of Chicago’s only black-owned radio station:
Radio has moved from being in the business of empowering and educating people to Wall Street, to making money. And that’s not the big corporate conglomerates, you know, that’s not their fault. They were allowed to do this.
Just a reminder to you recent grads, the loan consolidation deadline is July 1. Why is this important? Because if you wait to consolidate your loans until after July 1, you will pay more interest.