StarWatch Consumer

J.C. Penney cleared temporarily to sell Martha Stewart goods

Updated: 2013-04-12T19:32:27Z

Courting Martha

A New York State Supreme Court judge says J.C. Penney can sell some goods designed by Martha Stewart that were destined for shelves this spring.The ruling lets the department store operator sell the items until a lawsuit by rival Macy's Inc. is fully decided. Macy's had argued in a lawsuit that the goods, which were labeled JCP Everyday, violate its exclusive contract with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. to sell certain goods like sheets and towels. The J.C. Penney Co. items don't carry Martha Stewart's name.

Starbucks lowers prices

Starbucks Corp., citing competitive reasons, will lower prices for its Starbucks and Seattle's Best brand packaged coffees sold in U.S. supermarket and retail stores next month. Prices will decrease 10 percent to $8.99 from $9.99 for a 12-ounce bag of Starbucks coffee beginning May 10. Seattle's Best prices will drop 13 percent to $6.99 from $7.99.

T-Mobile now has iPhone

T-Mobile USA Inc. began offering Apple Inc.’s iPhone for the first time Friday, providing the biggest showcase yet for its new installment-plan approach to selling phones. Customers with good credit can buy the iPhone 5 for $99.99 down and 24 monthly payments of $20, breaking from a tradition of subsidizing smartphones in exchange for two-year service contracts.

Netflix communications

Netflix is staking out a lead role in the use of social media to communicate with investors. The company said it may use Facebook and Twitter for material announcements, permissible under guidelines issued last week by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,

BlackBerry rumors

The maker of the BlackBerry said Friday that it wants U.S. and Canadian regulators to investigate a “false and misleading” report by a financial analyst that claims the company's new smartphone is being returned in unusually high numbers. Thorsten Heins, the CEO of Research In Motion Ltd., said returns of the new BlackBerry Z10 are in line with industry norms. In a statement Friday, Heins said Thursday's report from research and investment firm Detwiler Fenton has to be challenged because it is either a complete misreading of the data or a willful manipulation. Anne Buckley, general counsel and chief compliance officer with Detwiler Fenton, said the firm is confident in its research methodology and welcomed any regulatory inquiry.

Specialty pharmacy problems

The Food and Drug Administration says it has uncovered potential safety problems at 30 specialty pharmacies that were inspected in the wake of a recent outbreak of meningitis caused by contaminated drugs. The agency said its inspectors targeted 31 compounding pharmacies that produce sterile drugs, which must be prepared under highly sanitary conditions.

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