tampabay.com

5 Big Stories: The Week in Business

By Jeff Harrington, Times Deputy Business Editor
Published March 18, 2007


1. Airport security tightens

Federal officials dispatch hundreds of extra undercover air marshals and officers to Florida airports, including Tampa International.

WHAT IT MEANS: The temporary security "surge" to search airport employees was prompted by a gun-smuggling arrest in Orlando. Some are pushing to make the more-aggressive security searches permanent.

2. Candy empire breaks up

Cadbury Schweppes splits its global candy business and U.S. beverage business.

WHAT IT MEANS: On one side: beverages like Dr Pepper and Snapple; on the other, candy like Trident chewing gum. The deal is supposed to "unlock shareholder value," but it makes both units more vulnerable to predators.

3. Some ... rate ... cuts ... coming ... eventually

Average property insurance rate cuts will be a fraction of what was promised and take awhile to arrive.

WHAT IT MEANS: The insurance "fix" by state regulators hasn't worked as envisioned. For many, rates will continue to rise this year.

4. Dick's Sporting Goods comes to town

The Pittsburgh chain opens its first two local stores in Westfield Brandon and Westfield Citrus Park.

WHAT IT MEANS: Sports Authority finally gets an explosion of competition, seven years after rival JumboSports fizzled.

5. Media giant sues YouTube

Viacom files a $1-billion copyright lawsuit against video site YouTube.

WHAT IT MEANS: The war is escalating. Traditional media outlets are worried that YouTube's use of their clips, for free, will lure away viewers and advertisers. Viacom is upset over clips taken from popular programs like Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon.