The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

In SoCal Business News: Audit questions LAX finances; Disney's acquisition of Maker Studio faces lawsuit; Gas Prices keep climbing; Amazon paying some workers to quit

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Happy Friday. Welcome to KPCC's business blog, The Breakdown. Every weekday morning, we compile a list of interesting business stories in the region.

  • Waxman takes issue with Tribune Co.'s spin-off plans.  Rep. Henry Waxman said Friday he wants L.A. Times corporate parent Tribune Co. to change the structure of its plans to spin-off its newspapers into a separate company. (The Breakdown's Wendy Lee/KPCC)
  • Audit takes issue with LAX finances.  The audit from the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation claims that in recent years, there was a $49 million discrepancy between what Los Angeles World Airports was reporting to the FAA in recent years and its internal reports. (Daily Breeze)  
  • Not so fast, Disney!  The co-founder and ex-CEO of Maker Studios and other former executives are suing to block a shareholder vote on Disney's acquisition of Maker (Variety). This KPCC report on Disney's move to buy the Culver City based digital video firm with more than 55,000 YouTube channels includes a video profile of Maker Studios. 
  • Disney's tech accelerator deadline is next week.  Two months ago, Disney announced an accelerator program to develop the next big ideas in entertainment and technology.  As Deadline mentions in its coverage of a well-attended meeting this week about the program, the deadline for the entrepreneurs wanting to be in the first class is next Wednesday. 
  • Gas prices keep climbing. City News Service reports the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County recorded its largest daily increase since June 22 Friday, rising 3 cents to $4.18.  That's its highest amount since March 18, 2013.  The average price has increased eight consecutive days, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.  
  • Port of Long Beach officials prefer to go it alone. Not many folks in Long Beach seem to like the idea of merging with the Port of Los Angeles. "Simply put, this is a bad idea," Doug Drummond, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners told the LA Times.  The Vice President of the Board went even further with KPCC.   
  • Amazon employees could get paid to quit.  The Los Angeles Times reports Amazon.com is offering employees up to $5,000 if they quit.  It's not the first company to try the practice, which some companies say can boost productivity and morale.  Last October, KPCC got a look inside Amazon's million-square-foot warehouse in San Bernardino
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