Explaining Southern California's economy

Reportings: Yahoo takeover; Foxy Amazon; grocery contract; bad housing market

Fred Schuers ponders the various Yahoo-takeover scenarios: "No investor is more of a threat than hedge-fund powerhouse Daniel Loeb, who has recently acquired 5.2 percent of Yahoo's stock. Loeb has gone after companies he thinks are mis-managed before, but the level of vitriol -- and cash -- he’s throwing at the Yahoo board shows that he’s deadly earnest this time." (The Wrap)

 

Fresh off its sales-tax deal with California, Amazon lines up more streaming options from 20th Century Fox. The LA Times, unfortunately, has no details on the money involved. But then again, neither does anybody else. "News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox has reached a licensing deal that adds about 2,000 films and television shows from its library to Amazon.com's instant streaming service, bringing to 11,000 the number of titles available through Amazon Prime." (LAT)

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Bullet Points: Gov. Brown kicks the can down the road with Amazon compromise

The governor signed legislation today that makes California's spat with Amazon over collecting e-commerce sales-tax go away — for 12 months. That's not exactly how the governor's office spun it, however. It focused on the voter referendum that was avoided, and also on job creation:

“A prolonged, costly ballot battle is a benefit to no one,” Governor Brown said. “This landmark legislation not only levels the playing field between online retailers and California’s brick-and-mortar businesses, it will also create tens of thousands of jobs and inject hundreds of millions of dollars back into critical services like education and public safety in future years. It’s time for Washington to follow our lead and forge a bipartisan national solution.”

So what does this legislation mean, exactly? I'll break it down into bullet points:

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Can we afford the jobs that Amazon wants to bring to California?

Gov. Jerry Brown isn't sure. This is from the L.A. Times' Money & Company blog:

Brown on Thursday did not dismiss the Amazon bid out of hand. But, he stressed that he's mostly concerned about losing an estimated $300 million in badly needed state revenues that his budget expected to get once Amazon complies with a new law that took effect on July 1.

"I'm concerned about anything that would reduce revenues going forward because we're in a very uncertain economy," the governor said after attending an awards ceremony for correctional officers in Sacramento. "We need more revenues unless we're going to keep curbing schools, courts, corrections."

Amazon, so far, has refused to collect the tax on purchases made by California customers. Instead, it's contributed more than $5 million to a referendum campaign to repeal the new sales tax collection law.

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