MEGAMERGER: Comcast Corp.’s proposed $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc. could face close scrutiny from U.S. antitrust regulators because of the deal’s potential to reshape the country’s pay-TV and broadband markets. The company resulting from the merger of the top two U.S. cable service providers would boast a footprint spanning from New York to Los Angeles, with a near 30 percent share of the pay-TV market as well as a strong position in providing broadband Internet services. The all-stock deal would put Comcast in 19 of the 20 largest U.S. TV markets, including Los Angeles, and could give it unprecedented leverage in negotiations with content providers and advertisers.
SOLD: Bunker Hill’s Two California Plaza, one of the tallest office buildings in downtown Los Angeles, has been acquired by Hollywood-based real estate investor CIM Group for an undisclosed price. The office tower is the best known property in an eclectic portfolio acquired by CIM that includes a regional shopping center in Montclair and a hotel in Bakersfield, according to news reports.
BARBIE TIME: Sports Illustrated’s “Legends”-themed 50th annual swimsuit issue, which hits stands this week, will feature the iconic Barbie doll in the swimsuit that made her famous. El Segundo’s Mattel Inc. approached the magazine about the project last year. The magazine features a modern Barbie wearing a version of the black-and-white striped swimsuit an earlier version of doll wore when it was introduced in 1959.
DUMB DONE: Dumb Starbucks, a parody Los Feliz coffee shop created by Comedy Central star Nathan Fielder, was shut down last week, a few days after its debut, but not by lawyers from real Seattle-based coffee retailer. The shop, which attracted lines of customers on Hillhurst Avenue by offering free samples of coffee and hot chocolate, was closed by the city’s Health Department, which said the operation lacked necessary permits.
ACCELERATOR: Walt Disney Co. said it will invest $1.2 million in early stage entertainment and media technology startups through its new Disney Accelerator. The Burbank entertainment giant is working with Techstars, a Boulder, Colo., accelerator that has similar partnerships with Nike Inc., Sprint Corp. and Barclays. The program will give 10 companies about $120,000 in financing and access to executives, entertainment industry leaders and venture capitalists.
PIGGY DEAL: Virtual Piggy Inc. has announced that its Oink payment system will soon work with transactions over the Discover Network, the fourth largest credit card company. Hermosa Beach-based Virtual Piggy’s system offers children and teens too young to have a credit card a secure payment system to make purchases from e-commerce sites without having to turn over identity information to the merchant.
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