The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

In SoCal business news: Long Beach Transit ends $12M contract with BYD; Spacey whips up support for tax credits

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Happy Friday! Welcome to KPCC's business blog, The Breakdown. Every weekday, our staff compiles a list of interesting business stories in the region.

  • Long Beach Transit ends its $12.1 million contract with electric bus maker BYD Motors Inc. BYD plans to rebid. (Orange County Register). Register reporter Pat Maio says the contract was cancelled "because of concerns the purchase order didn’t meet minority-owned supplier requirements." 
  • Charter Communications tells Time Warner Cable stockholders to oppose Comcast's offer to buy their company (Variety). Variety's New York Digital Editor Todd Spangler says Charter is still interested in buying Time Warner Cable. He says Charter believes the "Comcast takeover carries higher regulatory risks, delays and 'reduced and uncertain value.'" You can find our coverage of Comcast plans to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion here: KPCC
  • House of Cards' Frank Underwood—I mean, actor Kevin Spacey—tried to whip up more support to give his show tax credits by wining and dining  Maryland politicians (Bloomberg). People behind the show House of Cards have aggressively pushed the Maryland State Legislature to boost the amount of tax credits available for film and TV production.
  • L.A. Times' corporate parent, Tribune Co. said publishing revenues tumbled 11 percent to $507 million in its fourth quarter (Wall Street Journal). I reported Tribune plans to spin-off its newspaper business, which has raised concerns from Rep. Henry Waxman.
  • Pain at the pump. Gas prices are an average of $4.06 a gallon in Los Angeles (Los Angeles Times).
  • There are fighting words between DirecTV and the Dodgers over the cost of airing the team's new channel with Time Warner (The Hollywood Reporter). From the story: DirecTV's Dan York says "We're happy to carry it if the price is right for all consumers," but Dodgers president Stan Kasten says that's just a negotiation tactic and that the networks "have done deals at higher prices for bigger packages." Earlier this month, Kasten told KPCC's Ben Bergman he was optimistic that he could get the major pay-TV providers to sign on.  
  • Taco Bell's President Brian Niccol went on Reddit yesterday (Ad Age). Ad Age reporter Maureen Morrison says one of the questions asked was when is Taco Bell's breakfast menu coming to Canada and Niccol's response was: "When you take Justin Bieber back."

Got business news? Tweet me @thewendylee.

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