Business Stories of the Week: Friday, Dec. 15, 2017

by December 15, 2017

Parking is a problem in cities across the country. San Francisco hopes it has the solution. (Photo via Pixabay user GLady)

Disney buys most of 21st Century Fox

The Walt Disney Company reached a deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox’s assets on Thursday, The New York Times reports. The $52.4 billion agreement is still subject to approval from antitrust regulators, but the acquisition could have a far-reaching effect over different industries. Here’s some of what Disney will get in the deal: more television production, a number of different Marvel and other movie franchises, a collection of regional sports network and stakes in different international media companies, like Sky in Europe.

Fed raises rates, plans more hikes in 2018

Federal Reserve officials voted Wednesday to raise interest rates, Bloomberg reports. In its third move this year, the Fed raised the benchmark lending rate from 1.25 to 1.5 percent. The increase comes at the end of the oversight of Janet Yellen, who is set to pass her position as chair to Jerome Powell, who was nominated to be her successor by President Trump earlier this year.

Williams-Sonoma bets on AR

You can already buy almost anything shopping online at home, but what if you could also see — digitally — just how well a piece of art or furniture fit in with your decor before hitting the buy button? Williams-Sonoma is working to bring that option to customers, according to CNN Money, as it announced it is acquiring the augmented reality and 3D imaging startup Outward. Using a smartphone or tablet, augmented reality shows digital images on top of real-life objects, which means you might be able to redecorate your entire living room while sitting on the couch sometime soon.

Santa gets rich

Need some extra dough? Cashing in on Christmas might not be a bad idea, according to CNBC. The median income for a mall Santa is $3o per hour and the gig can even land more than $100 per hour. Better yet, talented freelance Santas, or those trained at Santa Schools, can even get $150 to $500 per hour. The jolly life isn’t cheap, however. Santa’s red suit, belt and boots can run close to $1,000, not to mention all the hair products needed to keep that beard full and white.

San Francisco figures out parking

San Francisco drivers spend an average of 83 hours a year looking for a place to park. Quartz reports, however, that the city thinks it has a solution. Last week, it announced the expansion of demand-based parking pricing to every meter, lot and garage owned by the city. It is now the first city to implement such a broad program, which will base rates by block and by hour according to peak and off hours.