Business news briefs
Exxon to pay
After listening to nearly three months of testimony, a jury in New Hampshire has ordered Exxon Mobil to pay $236 million in damages after finding the oil giant liable for groundwater contamination by the gasoline additive MTBE. Exxon unsuccessfully argued it used MTBE to meet federal Clean Air Act mandates and should not be held liable for sites contaminated by others.
U.S. wholesalers cut their restocking in February by the most in 17 months but their sales jumped 1.7 percent the most since November suggesting they may have underestimated consumer demand. Shrinking stockpiles means factories are producing fewer goods, but a jump in consumer spending suggests they will have to build their stockpiles.
Optimism among small business owners declined last month as their expectations for sales and the overall business climate fell. The National Federation of Independent Business found more than 75 percent of small business owners expect business conditions in six month to be the same or worse than now.
Ford Focus world's
Ford Motor Co. says its Focus was the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world last year, with just over 1 million sold. More than a quarter of all Focuses were sold in China, its largest market. The U.S. was the car's second-largest market. It was the second year in a row the Focus has outsold the Toyota Corolla, according to data from R.L. Polk.
seeking new CEO
Office Depot and OfficeMax have formed a CEO search committee and received a request for more information from the Federal Trade Communication about their planned merger. The office-supply chains said in February they planned to combine. But key details, such as the name of the new company, CEO and headquarters, have yet to be determined.
Austin next for
Google picked Austin as the next city where it will wire homes with its ultra-fast Internet network, but did not say how much customers will pay or when the fiber-optic experiment might expand elsewhere. Currently Kansas City is the only place to get Google Fiber which offers Internet connections 100 times faster than the competition.
to unveil glass plant
Momentum Recycling will hold a grand opening ceremony followed by an open house and tours of its new glass recycling plant, beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing through 3 p.m Thursday. The plant is located at 658 S. 4050 West in Salt Lake City.