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SJC to consider dispute over waterfront development

Boston Harbor GaragePat Greenhouse/Globe Staff


SJC to consider dispute over waterfront development

The state Supreme Judicial Court has decided to weigh in on a dispute between the Baker administration and the Conservation Law Foundation over how state environmental regulators have approved the municipal harbor plans that set parameters for local waterfront development. The original court case was focused on Boston’s Downtown Municipal Harbor Plan that allowed, among other things, a 600-foot tower to be built on the Boston Harbor Garage site. A Superior Court judge ruled in April that the plan was improperly approved by state regulators, essentially siding with the Conservation Law Foundation. In doing so, the judge undercut the legal authority of more than 15 other harbor plans in the state. The administration has started to revisit all the harbor plans that could come into question so they could comply with the judge’s ruling, while appealing the ruling itself. Now, the state’s highest court, the SJC, has taken up the case, and could rule on it sometime in mid-2022. — JON CHESTO



Puma sets minimum wage at $15 an hour

Puma, the German athletic shoe and apparel company, has become the latest employer to set a minimum wage of $15 per hour for employees in the United States. The news was announced by Puma’s Somerville office, home to its North American headquarters. The new minimum wage will be effective on Nov. 29. A spokeswoman said 1,300 retail employees, out of a total of 1,800, will benefit from this change, in the United States and Canada. Before this increase, Puma’s retail pay levels varied by market and depended heavily on local minimum wage laws. Puma North America CEO Bob Philion said he hopes the increase “will ensure all of our employees feel supported and valued, while pushing our entire industry forward toward this important benchmark.” — JON CHESTO


Comcast to target women-owned businesses for funding

Comcast will expand efforts to provide digital tools and funding to all women-owned businesses in the country starting in January. Comcast Representation, Investment, Strength, and Empowerment — or Comcast RISE — reported it has distributed more than $60 million in grants to about 6,700 small businesses owned by people of color, nearly 70 percent of whom were women. The company aims to ramp up its support of women entrepreneurs, whose businesses are growing at half the rate of those run by men, according to a study by the National Association of Women Business Owners. Comcast RISE is part of Comcast’s Project UP, an initiative centered on advancing digital equity as businesses grow increasingly reliant on media and technology.



Zoom stock plummets as number of large customers is smaller than projected

Zoom Video Communications shares plunged more than 14 percent Tuesday after the video-conferencing company reported a smaller-than-projected number of large customers for a second straight quarter, stoking concerns about growth as more workplaces and schools open back up. The company had 512,100 customers with more than 10 employees in the third quarter, an increase of 18 percent from a year earlier, according to a statement from San Jose, Calif.-based Zoom. That missed the average analyst estimate for 516,174, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Best Buy stock down more than 12 percent as stores hit by organized robberies

Best Buy tumbled the most since the start of the pandemic as increased robberies by organized groups of thieves add to an array of profit pressures while Wall Street frets about the outlook for holiday sales. Burglaries range from dozens of people rushing into stores and grabbing merchandise to theft by smaller groups, some of them brandishing guns or crowbars, chief executive Corie Barry told reporters Tuesday. Northern California has been a particular trouble spot, she said, but Best Buy has seen pockets of criminal activity all over the country. Meanwhile, a group of thieves smashed windows at department store at a luxury mall in Los Angeles late Monday, triggering a police pursuit, police said. The latest incident in a trend of smash-and-grab crimes targeted a Nordstrom store at The Grove retail and entertainment complex. The Grove incident followed a weekend of similar smash-and-grab thefts in the San Francisco Bay Area and Beverly Hills. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Dollar Tree raises most prices to $1.25

Dollar Tree will sell a majority of its products for more than $1, edging away from the approach that gave the discount chain its name. After 35 years of selling goods for a buck, Dollar Tree is boosting its standard price point to $1.25 by the end of April, the company said in a statement Tuesday. While the decision is “not a reaction to short-term or transitory market conditions,” Dollar Tree acknowledged the inflationary environment and said the price boost will help mitigate historically high costs, including freight and distribution expenses, as well as wage increases. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Samsung to built chip plant in Texas

Samsung has decided to build an advanced US chip plant in Texas, a win for the Biden administration as it prioritizes supply chain security and greater semiconductor capacity on American soil. South Korea’s largest company has decided on the city of Taylor, roughly 30 miles from its giant manufacturing hub in Austin, a person familiar with the matter said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Italy fines Apple and Amazon over antitrust violations

Italy’s antitrust watchdog has fined Apple and Amazon a total of more than 200 million euros ($225 million) for cooperating to restrict competition in the sale of Apple and Beats branded products in violation of European Union rules. An investigation found that provisions in a 2018 agreement between the US tech giants limited access to Italy’s Amazon marketplace to selected resellers, the Italian Competition Authority said Tuesday. The watchdog slapped Apple with a 134.5 million euro ($151.32 million) fine and Amazon with a 68.7 million euro ($77.29 million) penalty. It also ordered them to end the restrictions and give resellers access in a “non-discriminatory manner.” Both Apple and Amazon said they would appeal. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Now, an app for homes not on the market

Frustrated buyers who are tired of being outbid often are forced to solicit homeowners for properties not on the market. Sometimes their agents will send a letter or e-mail to the homeowners to ask if they’re interested in selling. It’s unknown how often that tactic works, but a new app called DropOffer aims to simplify that process for buyers and their agents. The DropOffer app, which is available for buyers by invitation through their real estate agents, provides property information and home valuation estimates on homes that are not on the market. Buyers can submit offers directly to homeowners through the app. — WASHINGTON POST


Currency token based on Tolkien infringed on trademarks

Call it a victory for Middle Earth. A Florida man who tried to create a cryptocurrency token that riffed off the name and imagery of “Lord of the of the Rings” author J.R.R. Tolkien has been roundly defeated by a patent tribunal. Jrrtoken.com, the disputed domain name set up by Matthew Jensen for commercial gain, was deemed “confusingly similar” to the trademark owned by the Tolkien estate and infringed its trademarks, a panel from the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization ruled. It ordered the jrrtoken domain name to be transferred to Tolkien’s estate. — BLOOMBERG NEWS