A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 9:34 a.m.
AMAZON is seeking tax breaks for a proposed distribution center in Houston that would lower the retailer’s taxes there to 65% for 10 years, starting Jan. 1; Harris County officials meet today to consider whether to call a public meeting on the company’s request. The $136 million facility would create 1,000 jobs and construction would start in the third quarter (Houston Chronicle). Amazon already has at least one center in Houston; it opened in 2014. In the Louisville area, it employs 6,000 at two distribution centers. What it’s like to work in one of the centers.
Presumptive GOP White House nominee Donald Trump has renewed his attack on The Washington Post and owner Jeff Bezos, after the paper called him out for trying multiple times yesterday to quietly link President Obama to this weekend’s devastating attack in Orlando. Trump has revoked the paper’s press access to his campaign, saying Bezos is using the newspaper as his personal mouthpiece to gain tax advantages for Amazon. Bezos bought the paper from its long-time owners, the Grahams, for $250 million in 2013; he owns it separately from Amazon (The Verge). Also, Amazon is getting ready to roll out its second annual Prime Day, a special 24-hour discount extravaganza for Prime members that last year exceeded its Black Friday results. It was held in July last year; the company hasn’t set a date this year yet (Street Insider).
FORD has been much less visible than competitors in forging deals with Silicon Valley partners, raising questions about whether it’s getting left behind in the race for self-driving cars and other innovations. Talks with Google this year went nowhere, while Fiat Chrysler has already forged a relationship with that technology giant. Meanwhile, Ford’s experiments with on-demand shuttles and e-bikes have been overshadowed by General Motors’ Maven car-sharing and Toyota’s alliance with Uber (Hybrid Cars).
GE: We now know what Haier paid GE’s 61-year-old Appliance Park: $125 million, according to Jefferson County Clerk Office records reviewed by Business First. Overall, Haier paid $5.6 billion for the home appliances division in a deal completed last week.
KFC: Some customers are confused and angry — and even angry about that anger — after the fast food restaurant famous for fried chicken launched a $6 limited edition burger with that other white meat: pork. The sandwich of pulled pork, coleslaw and barbecue sauce on a brioche bun is available across KFC restaurants in at least Australia starting today for the next four weeks (Emmanorris Blog and EFTM ). The Ozzie KFC division posted that video at the top of this page and the photo on the left.
News about the sandwich is spreading across Twitter, with many outraged or at least annoyed over the outrage:
Boulevard sees the Australian Mafia-of-one at work: Greg Creed has been leading a KFC makeover since become CEO of corporate parent Yum in January 2015.
TACO BELL: Our foreign news story of the day is about the Mexican chain’s move into Brazil next month in the megalopolis of Sao Paulo, just in time for the summer Olympics: “Taco Bell desembarca no Brasil ainda no segundo semestre” (Clica Piaui). For those who don’t speak Portuguese, Google Translate is your friend. Facing an increasingly saturated U.S. fast-food market, the Yum unit is ramping up overseas openings, expanding to 1,000 locations by 2020 from about 280 now (Bloomberg).
TEXAS ROADHOUSE is hiring in Knoxville and Alcoa, Tenn., at a job fair today (WVLT).
In other news, the newly opened Speed Cinema this weekend will present this year’s Sundance Short Film Festival Tour (Insider Louisville). And on Wall Street, U.S. stocks traded lower again right after the opening bell (Google Finance).