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5 Big Stories: The week's top business stories

The week's top business stories

By Jeff Harrington, Times Deputy Business Editor
Published March 2, 2008


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1. Millions of Floridians lose power

A small fire at a Florida Power & Light substation triggers a huge outage affecting much of Florida and shutters two nuclear reactors in South Florida.

What it means: The outage highlights the fragility of the state's electric grid as demand for electricity increases. The good news: Most customers' power was restored relatively quickly.

2. Busch theme parks to make splash in Dubai

Anheuser-Busch strikes a deal - funded by an arm of the Dubai government - to create a multibillion-dollar theme park attraction complete with a Sea World, Busch Gardens, Discovery Cove and Aquatica water park.

What it means: UAE has plenty of petrodollars and isn't hesitant to spend them to create a global entertainment mecca.

3. Redbox shakes up the DVD market

The vending kiosks, which dispense DVDs to rent for $1 a day, are about to move heavily into the bay area market.

What it means: Look out, Blockbuster. Redbox, a joint venture of McDonald's and Coinstar, has more locations than Blockbuster has U.S. stores. Maybe downloading videos isn't quite ready for the masses.

4. Pearlman plea in the works

Former boy-band producer Lou Pearlman negotiates a plea deal in his fraud case.

What it means: Pearlman may still face up to 25 years, but some investors who are out roughly $500-million in total aren't happy that Pearlman would be able to skip a trial.

5. AT&T faces the music

AT&T/Cingular agrees to reimburse cell phone customers who were billed for ring tones, horoscopes and other services they thought were free.

What it means: State regulators who triggered the deal said unsuspecting teenagers who downloaded content they thought was free were often the targets. AT&T pledges better disclosure going forward.

[Last modified February 29, 2008, 21:22:54]


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