The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

In SoCal business news: Herbalife investigation, Uber adds 'safe rides' fee

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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.

  • Herbalife is targeted in another investigation of its practices, this time from the Illinois attorney general's office (Los Angeles Times). The L.A.-based firm is also being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (KPCC).
  • Aereo's CEO Chet Kanojia hopes for a "clear decision" from Supreme Court on whether his company violates copyright laws and says Aereo has less than one million users (The Wrap). Broadcast networks have complained against Aereo's business. When customers sign up to access network TV programming using online service Aereo, they're not paying the fees that cable and broadcast networks rely on for revenue—known as retransmission content (AirTalk).
  • L.A.'s Office of Motion Picture and Television Production made some recommendations to a City Council committee (Daily News). Reporter Dakota Smith says one suggestion was creating a "code of conduct" that would handle ethical issues. 
  • China Film Co. makes its second deal with a Hollywood studio, by producing "Marco Polo" with Paramount Pictures (Deadline). But not everyone is a fan of China's practices. Director Oliver Stone says he wanted to do a film on Mao Zedong and didn't get support from China on that idea (The Economist).
  • Hollywood talent agencies have added to their concert and music booking divisions, as bookers take home even more pay (New York Times). Times reporter Hannah Karp says booking agents make 10 to 15 percent of concert tour sales.
  • When did Silicon Beach begin? Broker Randy Starr believes it started around 1998 or 1999 after the "first dot-com wave." (Santa Monica Daily Press).
  • Moving the Sriracha factory out of California is a complicated endeavor (KPCC).
  • Taking Uber this weekend? You'll see a $1 safe rides fee added to your bill (Pando Daily). This comes as Uber and other ride-sharing companies are getting questioned about the insurance they provide drivers (KPCC).

Got business news? Tweet me @thewendylee.

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