Every weekday on Marketplace, Kai Ryssdal hosts a lively and unexpected exploration of the day’s business and economic news from Wall Street to your wallet.
Trulia and Zillow announced they will join forces in a deal worth a reported $3.5 billion. It looks a lot like something that happens in tech when a sector matures in which companies start buying each other open a so-called roll up. We explain why this happens and what to expect in this business. Plus, Dollar Tree will also be acquiring Family Dollar Stores in a deal valued at $8.5 billion. How have things changed and how are these stores repositioning themselves as the economy recovers? In Detroit, the city water agency is proceeding with its plan to go after individual residents who are delinquent, to scare people into paying up, while negotiating with or otherwise letting slip by the big delinquent users who can fight back. Like Chrysler. And the state of Michigan.
We’ve come to expect lousy earnings reports from Amazon, but yesterday’s was beyond lousy, and the stock is down 11 percent this morning. Has Amazon finally reached a point where it’s going to have to behave like other companies and make some money? Plus, under the Affordable Care Act, healthcare companies are required to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on actual medical care. We’ll explain how these rebates work and who actually gets the money. Also, has the automated red light camera system failed to live up to its promise? The system was created to improve safety on the roads and generate income in cities across the country, but the system has been plagued with controversy; and is increasingly unpopular with drivers.
Facebook’s blow-the-roof off earnings report shows that it has figured out mobile, and is set to dominate the mobile ad world. So how did that happen, and what comes next? Plus, in its latest earnings report, automaker GM has revealed that it expects to spend between $400 million and $600 million to compensate victims of its defective ignition switches. We consider the company’s strategy in handling its massive recall. Also, Twitter released its diversity statistics yesterday. Not surprisingly, they were as dismal as those at Google, Facebook and other tech companies. So now that they know the scope of the problem, what are these companies doing to address it?
Fighting between Israel and Hamas has led some U.S. and European airlines to cancel flights to Israel on safety grounds. We explore how airlines decide when they should or should not fly to a given destination. Plus, Target Corp. opened its first ‘TargetExpress’ store in Dinkytown, Minneapolis today. At 20,000 square feet it’s even smaller than its ‘City Target’ stores. This physical reduction reflects an expansion by the company into new markets, but why has this big box corporation decided to ‘go small’? Is this part of a larger trend by big box stores to make their mark on smaller communities? Plus, how will this move impact the company’s profit margin? We investigate. Also, corporate earnings continue to go up, up, up. But that doesn’t mean these cash-rich companies are going to give you a job. We explain why.
Is inflation dead? Seems fair to say it’s at least comatose. The latest numbers show little movement in consumer prices and that’s unlikely to change soon. Plus, companies like Comcast and Netflix are raking it in. So what are they doing with all that money? We investigate. Also, Boeing and Delta are in a massive fight right now over this esoteric thing called the Ex-Im bank and how much money ends up in Boeing’s hands. We explain what’s at the core of the fight and how it’s playing out in these two companies that once had a pretty symbiotic relationship.
European leaders are angry with Russia and say President Vladimir Putin should do more to rein in the Russian separatists in Ukraine suspected of being involved in bringing down flight MH17. We examine what sanctions it would take to persuade Russia to change course. Plus, TSA security fees on airline tickets are about to go up. We explain the math behind your ticket. Also, Whirlpool is threatening to leave the EnergyStar program, unless Congress grants immunity from class-action lawsuits. How healthy, and vulnerable, is this label now?