Business Highlights

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO


'Call of Duty' creators buy 'Candy Crush' maker for $5.9B

NEW YORK (AP) — The company behind the hugely successful "Call of Duty" has struck a $5.9 billion deal to buy the makers of the highly addictive "Candy Crush" and take advantage of the way video games are moving out of living rooms and onto smartphones and tablets.

Activision Blizzard's purchase of King Digital Entertainment, announced Tuesday, will create one of the world's biggest entertainment networks, with more than a half-billion monthly active users in 196 countries, by Activision's count.


Gov't fines Takata $70 million in air bag recall case

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators fined Japan's Takata Corp. $70 million Tuesday for failing to promptly recall millions of explosion-prone air bags blamed for eight deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide.

The government also ordered Takata to stop making the inflators at the heart of the problem unless the company can prove they are safe, and set a schedule over the next two years for replacing many of the devices already in use. Takata may eventually have to recall all its inflators.

The company admitted that it knew for years that the inflators were defective but failed to recall them in a timely manner.


Xi says China needs 6.5 percent economic growth to prosper

BEIJING (AP) — President Xi Jinping said Tuesday that China needs at least 6.5 percent economic growth in coming years to become "moderately prosperous." The ruling Communist Party also announced plans to let the country's tightly controlled currency trade freely by 2020.

The announcements follow a high-level planning meeting last week at which ruling party leaders promised to make the world's second-largest economy more productive and to raise living standards.


Amazon opens its first bookstore as extension of website

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore on Tuesday, two decades after it began selling books over the Internet and helped drive a number of shops out of business.

The Seattle store, Amazon Books, will be a physical extension of the company website, combining the benefits of online pricing with traditional book shopping, the company said. It will offer as many as 6,000 top-rated titles, culled from customer ratings, sales, pre-orders and other factors.

The Seattle-based company did not explain its strategy in opening the store or say whether it would open more retail locations.


J&J, ViiV: 2 injections every month or 2 could control HIV

Preliminary testing of two long-acting injectable drugs indicates it might be possible to keep HIV at bay indefinitely with injections every month or two.

Johnson & Johnson and partner ViiV Healthcare, which specializes in HIV drugs, on Tuesday announced results from the first 32 weeks of the planned 96-week study, which combines one drug from each company.

Significant additional testing is needed, but the combination treatment would be a first if approved and could eventually be a huge advance over a disease once almost universally fatal.


APNewsBreak: 1st 'outsider' to lead retailer LL Bean

FREEPORT, Maine (AP) — Outdoors retailer L.L. Bean is going outside the company for the first time in its 103-year history for its new CEO, tapping the chief merchandising and marketing officer of a Chinese e-commerce business, officials said Tuesday.

Chairman Shawn Gorman made the announcement to workers in a memo, telling them the L.L. Bean family and board unanimously agreed to hire Stephen Smith from Chinese online grocer Yihaodian.

Smith will take over his duties in January, replacing Chris McCormick, who has served as CEO for 14 years.


Automakers post big Oct. sales gains; record year in sight

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. is speeding toward what could be a record year for auto sales.

Sales of new cars and trucks rose by double-digit percentages at most major automakers in October, and companies are raising their expectations for the rest of the year. U.S. sales rose 14 percent to nearly 1.5 million, according to Autodata Corp.

It was the best October since 2001.


TransCanada denies politics behind Keystone delay request

TORONTO (AP) — The head of the Canadian company behind the proposed Keystone XL pipeline denied Tuesday that political motivation drove its decision to ask the U.S. government to delay consideration of the project.

TransCanada's request that the State Department suspend its review of the pipeline could delay any decision until the next U.S. president takes office in 2017, potentially leaving the fate of the controversial project in the hands of a more supportive Republican administration.


McDonald's French fries return to Venezuela after 10 months

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Fast food lovers in shortage-plagued Venezuela are enjoying greasy French fries at McDonald's franchises once again after the side dish went missing last winter.

McDonald's rolled out the fries' comeback on Monday with an ad campaign including a countdown on social media and large banners inviting customers to swap their fried yuca, a root crop also known as cassava, for the real thing.

Venezuela's widespread and worsening shortages are driven in part by the country's tight currency controls, which make it hard to get dollars for imports.


Millenials-aimed Vice adds TV channel to global video lineup

NEW YORK (AP) — Vice Media is adding a U.S. cable channel to its digital video empire as it tries to gain viewers in old as well as new media.

The network, tentatively called "Viceland," is "the next step in the evolution of our brand and the first step in our global roll-out of networks around the world," said Shane Smith, Vice co-founder and CEO, in a statement Tuesday.

Viceland is expected to launch early next year, taking over A+E's H2 channel. It will be available in about 70 million homes.


The Dow Jones industrial average rose 89.39 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 17,918.15. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5.74 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,109.79. The Nasdaq composite rose 17.98 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,145.13.

Benchmark U.S. crude added $1.76, or 3.8 percent, to close at $47.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, rose $1.75, or 3.6 percent, to $50.54 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline jumped seven cents to $1.446 a gallon in New York, heating oil rose 5.9 cents to $1.566 a gallon and natural gas fell 0.3 cent to $2.253 per 1,000 cubic feet.