Over the last few months we have written on a wide variety of topics and the last few days have seen a number of updates on many of them:
- We have written about net neutrality, particularly with reference to iPhone bandwith issues. Now a federal court has questioned whether the FCC has the authority to impose net neutrality on ISPs. See Court Skeptical of FCC’s Net-Neutrality Push, Jan 9, Wall Street Journal.
- There has been an ongoing battle of wills between Redbox and Hollywood studios that has led studios to suggest that they may limit anyone from renting newly released DVDs. Now Netflix has signed just such a contract and it may have implications for their move into movie downloads. See Net Flicks Will Cost Netflix More, Jan 9, Wall Street Journal.
- We have had a couple of post on vertical integration. Automotive News now reports that Hyundai-Kia have backward integrated into steel production (Hyundai-Kia buck trend, wade into steel production, Jan 9). That right, River Rouge rides again! The instigation here is to assure access to some specialty steel at stable prices. Or to put it another way, to force Hyundai’s steel division to pass up some profits from the open market when specialty steel prices spike. Not sold on this being a good idea.
- Two other auto stories. The New York Times has a profile of Ford and Alan Mulally (Ford’s Bet: It’s a Small World After All, Jan 10). In particular it talks about how Mulally has forced Ford to rethink its product planning and aim for global platforms for its cars, starting with the Focus. Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune details why Chrysler remains screwed (Dinged-up Chrysler sputtering like a beater, Jan 10).
- A couple of days ago we had a story on Zappos. Today the New York Times has an interview with its CEO Tony Hsieh (On a Scale of 1 to 10, How Weird Are You?, Jan 10).
- Finally, another article in the New York Times follows up on the scandal of New York retailers destroying clothes. See Where Unsold Clothes Meet People in Need, Jan 8.