Business news briefs
FIBA tech partner
SnapSports, a Utah-based company and maker of modular sports surfacing and outdoor basketball game courts, has been named an official technical partner by the FIBA Equipment & Venue Centre, an arm of the international governing body for basketball.
Larry Miller Group
forms new divisions
The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies has formed three new divisions: Miller Management Corp., Miller Sports Properties, and Miller Retail Properties. Miller Management is located at Jordan Commons, the company's corporate headquarters in Sandy. Miller Sports Properties is located at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Miller Retail Properties is in South Salt Lake City.
U.S. builders spent less on construction projects in November, the first decline in eight months. Activity was held back by a drop in spending on federal projects. The Commerce Department says construction spending dipped 0.3 percent in November compared with October, when spending rose 0.7 percent. It was the first drop since March.
The erratic pace of borrowing by small businesses continued in November a sign they still are cautious about hiring. A report by PayNet, which provides credit ratings on small businesses, showed a 1 percent increase in borrowing in November. That followed an 11 percent jump in October. Many owners remain reluctant to borrow because of uncertainty about the economy.
A healthier economy and more new models should push U.S. auto sales above 15 million this year. The Polk research firm says sales should rise nearly 7 percent over 2012 to 15.3 million. Analysts think sales reached 14.5 million last year. Sales above 15 million are considered a sign of health for the auto industry.
Microsoft asks for
Microsoft is making a last-ditch effort to convince regulators they need to crack down on Google to preserve competition on the Internet and in smartphone markets. It laid out its arguments in a blog post, depicting Google as having abused its dominance of Internet searches. It lobbed its last missive as regulators in the U.S. and Europe wrap up probes into Google's business practices.
Buffett to buy
Billionaire Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy is buying two solar projects in southern California from SunPower Corp. that will generate 579 megawatts of electricity once completed in 2015. It will pay between $2 billion and $2.5 billion. MidAmerican agreed last fall to buy two wind farms near Los Angeles that can generate 300 megawatts. A megawatt is enough electricity to power 750 homes.