Coca-Cola to disclose spending on health research

NEW YORK — Coca-Cola says it will begin disclosing its investments in scientific research and advocacy about the impact sugary soft drinks have on public health. In an opinion article published online in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Muhtar Kent (right), chief executive of Coca-Cola, also said the company planned to assemble a committee of independent experts to advise it on its support for academic research. The New York Times this month revealed the financial ties between Coke and the Global Energy Balance Network, a nonprofit advocacy group that contends people worry too much about what they eat and not enough about how much they exercise. Coca-Cola provided the seed money that started the group, and its vice president, Steven Blair, appeared in a video in which he chastised “the media” for blaming overconsumption of fast food and sugary drinks for the country’s high rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, said it often was hard to determine the origins of research funding, so the decision by Coke to increase disclosure of its investment would be helpful. — NEW YORK TIMES


Majority wants government to curb prescription costs

WASHINGTON — The 2016 presidential candidates continue to debate President Obama’s 5-year-old health care law, but a survey suggests Americans have other medical issues on their minds. They are more worried about medication costs and broadly support government action to curb drug prescription prices, according to Thursday’s poll from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. Overall, 72 percent said the cost of prescription medications is unreasonable. Regardless of party affiliation, large majorities support requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose how they set prices (86 percent); allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices on behalf of beneficiaries (83 percent); limiting what drug companies can charge for medications to treat serious illnesses (76 percent); and allowing consumers to get prescriptions filled by pharmacies in Canada (72 percent). ‘‘The public is more focused on consumer issues like the price of drugs and out-of-pocket costs than the continuing political battles over the health care law,’’ said Drew Altman, president of the foundation. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America argues that government price controls would stifle an innovative industry that is delivering cures for life-threatening illnesses. But high-priced drugs, including a $1,000 pill for hepatitis C, have alarmed the public. Insurers are complaining, and so are state Medicaid programs and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which are legally entitled to lower prices. As a result, the drug industry seems to be taking a beating when it comes to public opinion. Only about 4 in 10 in the poll viewed pharmaceutical companies favorably, about the same share that holds a positive opinion of oil companies. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Construction firms to pay $1.4 million over false claims

Three Massachusetts construction businesses will pay $1.4 million to settle claims by Attorney General Maura Healey that they lied about meeting minority contracting requirements. CTA Construction Co., Inc., a Waltham general contractor, will pay $1.05 million to settle allegations that it falsely claimed to have hired Margen Inc., a minority-owned subcontractor, for work on three public contracts. Federal and state laws require that businesses owned by women and minorities get a certain share of construction jobs. Healey’s office alleged CTA listed Roxbury-based Margen, formerly known as Luxor Equipment Corp., Inc., as having conducted work on three projects that it did itself or hired Tewksbury’s MDR Construction Co., Inc. to do. MDR agreed to pay $150,000, and Margen agreed to pay $200,000 and accept a ban on doing business with the state of Massachusetts or any towns and cities. — JACK NEWSHAM



Babson alum raises $28 million for a smart doorbell

If you’re a normal person, you don’t think about a doorbell much. But James Siminoff did, and he’s raised millions of dollars to improve an age-old technology and sell it to the masses. Ring, an Internet-connected doorbell that doubles as mini-home security system, has raised $28 million in its Series B funding round. Ring, based in Santa Monica, Calif., is led by Siminoff, a Babson College alumnus and plans to use to funds to expand sales. When someone pushes a Ring doorbell, the owner gets a notification on his or her phone and can stream video from a small camera above the button. The device also has a motion detector that can scan a homeowner’s front yard and alert the owner to movement. The company touted some high-profile investors, including Virgin founder Richard Branson. — JACK NEWSHAM



Zuckerman decides against selling New York Daily News

NEW YORK — In the non-breaking news department, Mortimer Zuckerman (left) has decided not to sell the New York Daily News. “I have met with several potential interested and well-intentioned suitors during this process,” he said in a memo to staff members on Thursday. “For a variety of reasons, I have decided to withdraw the Daily News from the market.” Since informing the paper’s staff in February that he was exploring a sale, Zuckerman has engaged in complex negotiations with several wealthy businessmen. The Daily News, according to a person briefed on its finances, currently loses about $20 million a year. — THE NEW YORK TIMES



Clean Energy center CEO heading to SunEdison

The head of the state’s clean energy industry incubator will step down next month to become an executive with the world’s largest renewable energy developer — SunEdison — opening another key business development position for the Baker administration to fill. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center chief executive Alicia Barton notified her staff in an e-mail on Thursday that she planned to resign effective Sept. 15 to become the chief operating officer within Sun-Edison’s global utility-scale renewable energy group. Though the company is based in Missouri with a solar energy group based out of California, Barton will remain based out of Boston. Energy Secretary Matthew Beaton has tapped Stephen Pike, the Clean Energy Center’s general counsel, to fill in as acting CEO. — STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE


Saving face, perhaps, on Snapchat

People are all abuzz about Snapchat’s financials, which were leaked online this week. The outlook isn’t good: Snapchat lost $128 million during the first 11 months of 2014. And it took in just $3 million in revenue over that period, according to records obtained by Gawker. It’s clear whom the leaked numbers hurt the most: chief executive Evan Spiegel and his investors. But if there’s a winner, it’s Mark Zuckerberg. Snapchat famously rebuffed Facebook’s offer of a $3 billion acquisition. Spiegel could have walked away with a huge sum of money. Instead, he’s managing a struggling business that — almost four years, a big data breach and a Federal Trade Commission settlement later — still lacks a clear road to profitability. — WASHINGTON POST



Twitter at IPO price

For Twitter, the news, in a Tweet-sized dispatch: Shares closed at $26, exact same as IPO price 11/7/13 and down two-thirds from its peak. Slowdown in growth is blamed. — GLOBE STAFF