Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Morning business headlines – Oct. 4, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

A test case of another kind for the Supreme Court: Who can sue hotels over disability access

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is taking up a case that could make it harder to sue hotels when their websites aren’t clear enough about their accommodations for people with disabilities. The justices are being asked Wednesday to limit the ability of so-called testers to file lawsuits against hotels in Maine and elsewhere that fail to disclose accessibility information on their websites and through other reservation services. For people with disabilities, accurate information is critical to their travel plans. Joseph Stramondo is a San Diego resident under 4 feet tall but was given a room accessible for people with hearing loss. The room didn’t have bars in the bathroom or a door wide enough for his wheelchair.

Biden says that all 10 drugs targeted for the first Medicare price negotiations will participate

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has announced that the manufacturers of all of the first 10 prescription drugs selected for Medicare’s first price negotiations have agreed to participate. Tuesday’s announcement clears the way for talks that could lower their costs in coming years and give Biden a potential political win heading into next year’s election. The White House says 9 million seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries paid more than $3.4 billion on these 10 drugs alone last year. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced in August the first 10 drugs selected for the negotiation process and said manufacturers had until Monday to agree to participate and submit manufacturer-specific data.

TikTok ends retail business in Indonesia after ban on social media shopping

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Chinese-owned video platform TikTok says it will halt its online retail operation in Indonesia to comply with the country’s decision to ban e-commerce transactions on social media platforms. The decision comes as a big blow for TikTok’s fastest-growing market. The company statement said it will stop facilitating e-commerce transactions in TikTok Shop Indonesia by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Last week, the Indonesian government announced the new regulation prohibiting social media companies from facilitating sales of products on their platforms in a bid to protect small businesses from e-commerce competition, accusing them of predatory pricing.

Saudi Arabia says it will maintain production cuts that have helped drive oil prices up

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia says it will maintain a production cut of 1 million barrels of oil a day through the end of the year. Wednesday’s announcement could further prop up oil prices, which are hovering around $90 a barrel. Production cuts first announced by Saudi Arabia and Russia in July have driven up prices at the pump, enriched Moscow’s war chest and complicated global efforts to bring down inflation. The Saudi Energy Ministry says the kingdom will continue to produce 9 million barrels per day in November and December, and will review the production cut again in November.

Got packages to return? Call Uber. The ride-hailing service is now offering to return parcels for $5

Uber is adding a new task to its list of services: mailing consumers’ return packages. The ride-hailing and delivery company said Wednesday that its drivers will collect up to five prepaid and sealed packages and drop them off at a local post office or at UPS or FedEx stores. Uber will charge a flat fee of $5 for the service or $3 for its Uber One members. The San Francisco-based company said the service will be available in nearly 5,000 U.S. cities to start. Customers can choose package drop off locations within Uber’s app and drivers will provide visual confirmation once a package has been dropped off.

Fed’s Powell gets an earful about inflation and interest rates from small businesses

YORK, Pa. (AP) — Federal Reserve officials typically gather many of their insights and observations about the economy from some of the top Ph.D. economists in Washington. On a visit Monday to York, Pennsylvania, Chair Jerome Powell got an earful from a group with a different perspective: Small-business people who are grappling personally with inflation, high interest rates, labor shortages and other challenges of the post-pandemic economy. Powell traveled to York to learn about the efforts of the long-time manufacturing hub to diversify its economy. The businesspeople they spoke with were generally optimistic but expressed a range of concerns: They are still having trouble finding all the workers they need. Higher interest rates have discouraged some of them from expanding.

Facebook and Instagram users in Europe could get ad-free subscription option, WSJ reports

LONDON (AP) — Meta plans to give Facebook and Instagram users in Europe the option of paying for ad-free versions of the social media platforms as a way to comply with the continent’s strict data privacy rules. That’s according to the Wall Street Journal. It reported Tuesday that the company wants to charge users about $10.50 a month to use Instagram or Facebook without ads on desktop browsers. Prices for mobile would be higher, at roughly 13 euros a month. Meta reportedly is hoping to roll out paid subscriptions in the coming months as a way to comply with European Union data privacy rules that threaten its lucrative business model of showing users personalized ads.

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