IPhone sale campout brings fights, police
PASADENA, Calif. – An overnight campout for the new iPhone turned chaotic Friday morning when two men were arrested for fighting outside an Apple Store and a man’s plan to hire homeless people to wait in line for the coveted devices backfired, authorities said.
Dozens of people recruited at a downtown Los Angeles homeless shelter to buy iPhones in bulk at a Pasadena store were left unpaid, and they mobbed the man who had hired them, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
One of the homeless men was placed on a 72-hour mental health hold after running into the street in an enraged state, Clawson said. Television news footage showed police breaking up several scuffles and calming down furious customers.
Dominoe Moody, 43, told the Los Angeles Times he was driven the 10 miles or so to Pasadena from Los Angeles with several vanloads of people to wait in line overnight.
Moody was promised $40 but said he wasn’t paid because after handing the man an iPhone, the man was escorted away by police when people became angry with him.
Apple’s new iPhone models, the 5S and 5C, were released worldwide Friday.
American, US Airways point to prior mergers
FORT WORTH, Texas – American Airlines and US Airways want to know why the federal government allowed previous airline mergers but seeks to block theirs.
The airlines say they will ask a court to order the U.S. Department of Justice to turn over documents about four previous mergers between 2005 and 2011.
They made the request in a filing Friday with the U.S. district court in Washington. A trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 25 on the government’s lawsuit against the merger, which would create the world’s largest airline.
The Justice Department says the merger will limit competition and raise prices. The airlines maintain there will be plenty of competition.
Member says Fed could ease buybacks soon
WASHINGTON – A voting member of the Federal Reserve says the Fed could start to reduce its bond purchases as early as the next meeting in October, if the economy shows improvement.
James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, told Bloomberg television Friday that it was a “close decision” not to slow the $85-billion-a-month in bond buying at the Sept. 17-18 meeting. He said stronger data before the Oct. 29-30 meeting could make Fed officials “comfortable with a small taper in October.”
The bond purchases are intended to keep long-term interest rates low, encouraging more borrowing and spending.
Britain investigates bra pricing collusion
LONDON – Britain’s retail regulator says it has evidence that an underwear maker and three department stores colluded to inflate the price of a popular sports bra.
The Office of Fair Trading says it is investigating whether DB Apparel U.K. entered into anti-competitive agreements with retailers John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser between 2008 and 2011 over the Shock Absorber bra.
The regulator said its provisional view was that the manufacturer and the stores agreed on retail prices, in a “serious infringement of competition law.”
The office’s senior director of services, Ann Pope, said the agency would hear from the companies before making a final ruling.
The companies dispute the claims.
The Shock Absorber was once advertised by tennis player Anna Kournikova under the slogan: “Only the balls should bounce.”