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Comcast to open store in Downtown Crossing

Jeff Fusco/Associated Press


Comcast to open store in Downtown Crossing

Cable giant Comcast is opening an Xfinity Store in Downtown Crossing. The company plans to employ about 15 people at the 3,300-square-foot shop at 350 Washington St., between TJ Maxx and HomeGoods, when it opens in February. The shop will include product demonstration areas for various Comcast products, such as its X1 video service and Xfinity Mobile. Comcast has two other Xfinity stores in Boston — in Allston and East Boston — along with several smaller service centers. — JON CHESTO


North Andover company makes two big real estate purchases

VMD Companies of North Andover is betting on the strength of the region’s industrial market by making two real estate purchases this month for a combined $16.7 million. VMD acquired 523 Pleasant St. in Attleboro, an almost fully leased 179,000-square-foot warehouse, for $7.65 million. And then VMD bought a 150,000-square-foot warehouse at 50 John Hancock Road in Taunton for $9 million. Tenant Quad/Graphics plans to exit in the next few months, leaving the building vacant, VMD managing director Jim Vitas said. He plans to reposition the Taunton property for e-commerce or biomanufacturing. He said Phil Down, VMD’s director of acquisitions, and James Beaton, director of private equity, played key roles in the deals. VMD was part of one of the state’s biggest-ever industrial transactions in January when Clarion Partners acquired the former Necco property in Revere for $355 million from VMD and Atlantic Management; Amazon leased the entire 830,000-square-foot building last year. — JON CHESTO



Amazon and Apple focus of antitrust probe in Germany

Amazon and Apple face German antitrust scrutiny over a policy that excludes independent sellers of brand products on the online market place. Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the country’s antitrust regulator, is probing both companies over a policy at Amazon called “brandgating,” the authority said in an e-mailed statement. The policy allows makers of branded products such as iPhones to have independent sellers removed from the platform as long as Amazon can sell the items, according to the statement. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Tiffany, LVMH deal back on

The largest deal in luxury is back on after New York’s famed jeweler Tiffany agreed to a slightly reduced offering price from from LVMH in Paris. LVMH will now pay $131.50 for each Tiffany share putting the total price tag at $15.8 billion, down from the $16.2 billion that was first offered earlier this year. The owner of Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Fendi along with a basket of wine and champagne brands, appeared to walk away from the acquisition last month after it said the French government had pushed for a delay because of the threat of proposed US tariffs. But the reasons for its cold feet seemed to shift, and there was pressure from investors on both sides to make a deal happen. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Panasonic profits from making batteries for Tesla

Panasonic reported operating income that beat analyst estimates as the division that supplies Tesla Inc. with batteries turned a profit. The Japanese company’s operating income rose 11 percent to 93 billion yen ($900 million), exceeding the highest analyst estimate. The automotive business that supplies the American maker of electric vehicles made an operating profit of 5.1 billion yen. The two companies jointly operate a massive battery plant in the United States, where Panasonic makes the cells, and Tesla strings thousands of them into battery packs for each car. But Elon Musk has sought additional suppliers to reduce Tesla’s dependence, while Panasonic has said it can’t supply the automaker on its own. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



United to offer quick virus tests on flights from Newark to London

United Airlines will offer rapid coronavirus testing on flights to London from Newark in a bid to show governments that a pre-departure testing regime can provide a way to ease strict quarantine rules. The pilot program, running from Nov. 16 to Dec. 11, also is aimed at giving customers on the trans-Atlantic route “an added layer of peace of mind,” United spokesman Josh Earnest said. US and British airlines have been seeking government approvals for an “air bridge” between the New York City area and London’s Heathrow Airport that would relax isolation rules and spur international business travel. Corporate tickets and overseas routes are traditionally among the most profitable and have been especially hard hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Spotify stock falls on subscription report

Spotify stock fell more than 3 percent after its premium revenue fell short of analysts' expectations even as subscriptions rose, with consumers in some markets resisting the company’s price increases. The world’s largest streaming audio service said Thursday that premium revenue, generated by its paid subscriptions, was 1.79 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in the third quarter. Analysts expected 1.83 billion euros, according to a consensus compiled by Bloomberg. Spotify cited price increases for its family plans in Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. However, Spotify added 21 million monthly active users in the third quarter, bringing its total to 320 million. That topped analysts' estimate of about 316 million. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Airbus loses more than $1 billion due to the pandemic

Struggling plane maker Airbus says new European virus lockdown measures are making its life “a bit more difficult,” as it announced 1 billion euros ($1.16 billion) in pandemic-related losses for the third quarter Thursday amid a slower-than-expected recovery in air travel. But CEO Guillaume Faury said Airbus has already repeatedly adapted its operations to cope with the virus and is not predicting major disruptions from the new restrictions, notably those announced in France and Germany on Wednesday. The Toulouse, France-based company said it managed to stop losing cash in the third quarter after a devastating first half of the year, as airlines collapsed or grounded most of their planes. It maintained its forecast that air traffic won’t return to 2019 levels until 2023-2025. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


PlayStation 5 edges out XBox Series X on the black market

Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X haven’t hit stores yet, but the video game console showdown has already begun in the online black market. Demand for the PlayStation 5 on resale websites is outstripping that of the new Xbox, and shoppers are paying more to get their hands on the first run of products, market research shows. The vibrant market for scalpers offers a preview of next month’s contest when the two rival game companies will release their new consoles to a global audience with a seemingly endless appetite for home entertainment. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Shell increases dividend after better third quarter

Royal Dutch Shell increased its dividend payout to shareholders following a better-than-expected third quarter of the year, months after cutting it for the first time since World War II. The oil giant, which is trying to transform itself into a carbon-neutral energy company, said Thursday that it was planning to increase its dividend by 4 percent. Though down 97 percent compared to last year because of the sharp slide in oil prices, the company’s earnings still beat the consensus in financial markets of $146 million. — ASSOCIATED PRESS