Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Business news in brief

A barge with a structure being built of welded shipping containers is docked at a pier in San Francisco. Two such mystery constructions have appeared in San Francisco and one in Portland, Maine, and have the tech world buzzing. Online speculation has focused on Google Inc., which has a patent for a floating data center that uses ocean water for cooling. Neither Google nor the company outfitting the barge has commented.
A barge with a structure being built of welded shipping containers is docked at a pier in San Francisco. Two such mystery constructions have appeared in San Francisco and one in Portland, Maine, and have the tech world buzzing. Online speculation has focused on Google Inc., which has a patent for a floating data center that uses ocean water for cooling. Neither Google nor the company outfitting the barge has commented. JUSTIN SULLIVAN / Getty Images

In the Region

 

Center handoff moved to Dec. 1

 

The handover of the Convention Center from president and chief executive Ameenah Young's city-backed administration to Conshohocken-based facility management company SMG, previously projected for October, is now expected to take place Dec. 1, Pete Peterson, spokesman for center board chairman Gregory Fox, confirmed. State officials have been reviewing SMG's contract. That process, Peterson said, is now complete, and directors are "expecting written notification" from Pennsylvania budget secretary Charles Zogby "in the next few days," enabling the transfer to take place after the end of November. - Joseph N. DiStafano

 

Chambers back airline merger

 

Six chambers of commerce, including the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, in cities dominated by US Airways Group and American Airlines said a merger of the carriers would mean increased competition, more travel options, and an economic benefit for local businesses and residents. Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Philadelphia, and Phoenix chambers asked Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who is hearing the government antitrust lawsuit against the merger, to grant their request to file a friend-of-the-court statement in the case. A trial is scheduled to start Nov. 25 in U.S. District Court in Washington. - Linda Loyd

 

Jury: Drug caused birth defect

 

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceutical unit must pay $4.02 million in a lawsuit claiming that its seizure drug Topamax caused birth defects, a Philadelphia jury said. Jurors in state court deliberated less than an hour before rendering a verdict in favor of Virginia resident April Czimmer, who took the drug for six months and gave birth to a boy with a cleft lip. Czimmer said son Blake, born in September 2007, had injuries requiring four surgeries. Czimmer's case is the first of about 134 cases pending in state court in Philadelphia over the drug, plaintiffs' lawyers said. Janssen said it would appeal. - Bloomberg News

 

Court: Girard Estate not taxable

 

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected an attempt by Cumberland County to have Philadelphia's Girard Estate, which supports the Girard College free school for orphans and other youth, declared a taxable entity. Cumberland had cited 1800s legal claims that Girard was private, which the school cited in the 1950s when it was trying to remain all-white. But the court called that attempt "a fool's errand." The school plans to shut its boarding program and raise money to overhaul its aging 40-acre North Philly campus. - Joseph N. DiStefano

 

PSEG credits Marcellus savings

 

Public Service Enterprise Group, parent company of New Jersey's PSE&G utility, says its shareholders and customers have benefited from abundant supplies of low-cost natural gas from Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale. PSEG said earnings from its power generation unit, which sells electricity on the open market, were higher because oversupplies of Marcellus gas have driven down fuel costs. The company also announced last week that its 1.8 million natural gas customers will pay about a third less on their bills in November and December to reflect a bonus derived from Marcellus gas trading and transportation. PSEG reported third-quarter income from continuing operations and net income of $390 million or 77 cents per share, compared with $347 million or 68 cents per share for the third quarter of 2012. - Andrew Maykuth

 

Some 777 design work here

 

Boeing Co. said much of the design work for a major overhaul of its 777 will be done outside of its main commercial airplane base in the Seattle area. A memo to Boeing workers says much of the work will be done in "Charleston, S.C.; Huntsville, Ala.; Long Beach, Calif.; Philadelphia; and St. Louis." Boeing has a large plant in Ridley Township, Delaware County. Some work will also be done in Moscow. The current 777 is assembled in Everett, just north of Seattle. Boeing is expected to formally offer the plane for sale by the end of 2013. - AP

 

   

 

 

Elsewhere

Chrysler IPO possible this year

 

On the heels of a profitable third quarter, Chrysler Group said it would proceed with a public offering of shares before the end of this year. Italy's Fiat SpA owns the majority of Chrysler shares. Sergio Marchionne, who runs both companies, wants to combine them by purchasing the 41.5 percent of Chrysler now controlled by a United Auto Workers-run trust. The two sides disagree on the value of the trust's shares, and the CEO said the sides haven't reached a deal. - AP

 

 

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