Morning Money Memo…
Dish Network says it will become the largest company so far to accept payment in bitcoin. The satellite TV provider says it will begin accepting the digital coins through payment processor Coinbase by September. Coinbase will instantly convert the bitcoins into cash, eliminating the risk of price fluctuations. Dish’s chief operating officer, Bernie Han, says the idea came from company employees who had become avid bitcoin users. While Han says demand for the payment system is unclear, Dish is already going after tech savvy consumers by offering them live TV on mobile devices.
Investors are giving cautious thumbs up after Apple’s decision to spend $3 billion to purchase Beats Electronics – known for its headphones and streaming music service. Apple’s (AAPL) share price rose slightly and the company has been upgraded by two Wall Street analysts. The purchase is Apple’s largest to-date. “If you look at the current music market, downloads are declining for iTunes so Apple needed to do something,” says Erich Joachimsthaler, founder and CEO of Vivaldi Partners Group. Beats was started by rap icon Dr. Dre and recording executive Jimmy Iovine to create high-end headphones, and the company evolved into a successful music streaming business. “Its offerings are differentiated and more appealing to Apple than perhaps Pandora and Spotify would be,” says analyst Scott Kessler with S&P Capital IQ. ” Beats has a certain cachet.”
Google’s workforce is mostly made up of white men, a situation the tech giant says it’s trying to change. The firm released statistics documenting the diversity of its workforce for the first time, responding to escalating pressure on the technology industry to hire more minorities and women. The stats shoed that 70 percent of Google employees are men, while 61 percent are white.
The 2014 Chevrolet Impala was the only non-luxury car to earn the highest safety rating in new tests of high-tech crash prevention systems. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested cars equipped with collision warning and automatic braking systems. It gave a “superior” rating to cars that both warned the driver of a potential collision and applied the automatic brakes to significantly slow the cars
Unemployment remains above 20 percent in two large metro areas, and above 15 percent in a number of others. Data from the Bureau for Labor Statistics show that while the jobs market has improved in the past year in most of the country, it’s still very weak in some areas. The unemployment rate in Yuma, Arizona is 23.8 percent. In El Centro, California, it is 21.6 percent. “El Centro sits in an area of California in which unemployment in many metro areas is double the national average,” reports 24/7 Wall St. One surprise in the report is Detroit, where unemployment is 7.9 percent. That’s above the national average, but far lower than might be expected for a bankrupt city with widespread urban blight. Cities within states that were never deeply damaged by the recession continue to have unemployment rates well below the national average. These include Provo, Utah, at 3 percent, Midland, Texas, at 3.2 percent and Odessa, Texas, at 3.9 percent.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow