New York City caps Uber, ride-hailing companies


New York City caps ride-hailing companies

In one of the largest setbacks yet for Uber and Lyft, New York City Wednesday moved to rein in the growth of app-based ride services with a temporary cap on new cars picking up fares. The City Council approved a package of bills Wednesday that included a one-year moratorium on new licenses for for-hire vehicles while the city studies the rapidly changing industry. The council also voted to set a minimum driver wage, equivalent to the yellow cab wage, for app-based drivers. Backers of the proposals said both the traditional yellow cab industry and drivers for app-based services are suffering as Uber cars flood the streets. They said the growth of ride-hailing apps has worsened traffic congestion. But opponents said Uber and Lyft provide needed service to neighborhoods outside of Manhattan that are poorly served by yellow cabs. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Another unicorn among Massachusetts’ startups

Actifio, a Waltham company that helps businesses store and manage large amounts of data, said Tuesday that it is now worth more than $1.3 billion, making it one of the most valuable startups in Massachusetts. The new valuation stems from $100 million in new funding that was received from venture capitalists. The company collects clients’ data and stores a master copy that it says can be accessed by many different applications — reducing the complexity of systems that store multiple copies for different uses. The announcement is the latest in a string of disclosures that have demonstrated just how much value is locked up in privately held Massachusetts companies. Last week, for instance the 3-D printing operation Formlabs said it had also become a “unicorn” startup worth more than $1 billion. And in July, the restaurant technology maker Toast said that it, too, had joined the billion-dollar club. — ANDY ROSEN


Sumner Redstone spared questioning in CBS fight

Sumner Redstone won’t have to face questioning from lawyers for directors of CBS Corp. over his role in blocking their efforts to strip his family of its controlling interest in the media company. A Delaware judge on Wednesday concluded the 95-year-old Redstone doesn’t need to be questioned, due to health issues. Redstone is said to communicate mostly through grunts and an iPad pre-programmed with his voice to say yes, no, and a profanity. But the judge ordered National Amusements Inc. to turn over documents related to the billionaire’s control of the company and CBS. A trial is set for Oct. 3 focusing on whether CBS directors can approve a dividend that would dilute the Redstone family’s control of the media company and whether the move by the family to change the company’s bylaws to block that was proper. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Newark offers Amazon big bucks for second headquarters

As the battle to land Amazon.com’s second headquarters comes down to the wire, one of the less glamorous contenders just added as much as $1 billion in tax breaks to its pitch. Newark on Wednesday approved the bag of cash as part of a $7 billion package the state is dangling to capture Amazon. A trio of ordinances adopted by the City Council give payroll-tax exemptions to any company that creates 30,000 jobs and invests $3 billion in New Jersey’s largest city over the next 20 years. The inducements would be applicable to other companies should Amazon decide to build its $5 billion campus elsewhere, said Aisha Glover, president of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation. It is one of the largest known subsidy packages offered by the 20 places on Amazon’s short list, which include Los Angeles, Denver, Miami, New York, Boston, three parts of the Washington, D.C., region, and Toronto. Most candidates haven’t disclosed their offers. Amazon expects to announce its choice by the end of the year. The huge offer triggered some backlash within Newark from critics who said Amazon is a successful company that doesn’t need taxpayer help. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Mustang milestone for Ford

Ford Motor Co. celebrated the production of the 10 millionth Mustang Wednesday with a parade of the iconic sports cars, from 1964 to the present day, from its Dearborn headquarters to the plant where they are made. The 10 millionth issue is a 2019 Wimbledon White GT V8 six-speed manual convertible. Mustang is the best-selling sports car of the last 50 years in the United States and the world’s top-selling sports car for three years in a row, according to company analyses. ‘‘Today, when we say the word Mustang, isn’t it amazing that you don’t think of the horse? You think of the vehicle,’’ chief executive Jim Hackett said at the Dearborn gathering. Guests included Gail Wise, an Illinois woman who Ford said bought the first Mustang in 1964, and still owns it today. ‘‘Fifty-four years ago I bought a car, [and] we’re still talking about it,’’ said Wise, who bought the baby blue Mustang for $3,447.50. ‘‘I said I feel like a movie star at 76 as well as I did at 22.” — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Sinclair, Tribune Media talk through TV deal problems

The Sinclair broadcasting company said it’s in talks with Tribune Media over regulatory problems with its $3.9 billion deal to buy 42 of Tribune’s TV stations. Sinclair chief executive Chris Ripley said the companies are working to find approaches that are best for the company, employees, and shareholders. He made the comments Wednesday as Sinclair reported quarterly financial results. In July, Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai raised concerns about the deal and ordered a hearing. The deadline for either party to walk away from the deal is Wednesday. Neither side appeared to be leaving the deal. If they remain in talks, they will face a lengthy hearing process with the FCC. In the past, just the prospect of that has dissuaded companies from continuing with merger plans. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


British regulators nix ads for Coco Pops, pass on Happy Meals

What is the difference between a McDonald’s Happy Meal and a box of Coco Pops? Beyond the obvious, one can be advertised to children on British television, and the other cannot. Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority ruled Wednesday that the fast-food giant McDonald’s could market its Happy Meal during children’s programs, but ordered Kellogg’s, which makes Coco Pops cereal, to remove commercials it had broadcast alongside a children’s show. As part of the government’s increased scrutiny of unhealthy foods marketed to young people, British regulations prohibit advertising of products that are high in fat, salt, or sugar content during programs aimed at children younger than 16. At issue was a new Kellogg product, Coco Pops Granola, that the company promoted with ads featuring the cereal brand’s mascot, Coco the Monkey. Critics said the ad had the effect of promoting other Coco Pops products with higher levels of sugar. The standards authority agreed in a decision that contrasted with its ruling on McDonald’s, where it chose not to take action against ads for Happy Meals that showed a portion of chicken nuggets.Activists such as Ben Reynolds, the deputy chief executive for Sustain, a group that advocates for better food and farming practices, criticized the distinction, saying the McDonald’s ads could still draw children into the company’s restaurants, where they could order unhealthy items. — NEW YORK TIMES



Internet seller Casper going bricks-and-mortar

Online mattress seller Casper plans to open 200 stores in the United States over the next three years as part of an effort to solidify its position in the retail market. The young company has been testing locations by opening 20 stores with short-term leases over the last few years, and opened its first permanent store in Manhattan this year. Its expansion comes as Houston-based Mattress Firm is reportedly considering filing for bankruptcy protection. Casper chief executive Philip Krim said his company’s stores have been successful, since shoppers like to touch and try out mattresses. The company is among a slew of online retailers like Untuckit and Warby Parker that are stepping up the pace at which they expand their store locations. — ASSOCIATED PRESS