January 14, 2014 |
A federal appeals court swept aside government regulations designed to ensure equal access to the Internet, raising the prospects of higher fees for consumers and more barriers for start-ups seeking to compete online. The decision Tuesday could allow AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and other Internet service providers to charge the likes of Netflix and YouTube more money to deliver movies and video to their customers. The ruling also throws into disarray the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to limit telecom and cable firms from discriminating against certain Internet traffic by slowing speeds, impeding access or raising fees.
February 15, 2013 |
Consumer sentiment rebounded solidly early in February after a disappointing showing the previous two months, according to a survey released Friday. The monthly Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 76.3, up from 73.8 in January. Quiz: How much do you know about looming federal budget cuts? The readings in December and January were weighed down by Americans' concerns about the potential drag from the so-called fiscal cliff, which federal lawmakers averted with a last-minute deal.
February 1, 2013 |
Toyota, Ford and Honda ranked highest in a consumer survey of brand perception by Consumer Reports, and Tesla - the Palo Alto-based maker of electric cars - made the Top 10. The best brands list largely mirrors the survey from last year, in which the top six brands finished in the same order, according to the product-testing organization and consumer magazine, which released the results Friday. Scoring worst in the survey were Mitsubishi and Toyota's Scion brand - tying for last place - and Ram trucks, scoring third worst.
September 8, 2008 |
Most borrowers never come into contact with mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That's because the companies work with lenders rather than consumers. Nevertheless, Fannie and Freddie play an essential role in the mortgage industry and the economy in general. Here are answers to some basic questions about these companies and your stake in them: -- What are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? They are called government-sponsored enterprises because they initially were formed by the federal government.
May 22, 2012 |
BOSTON - A new generation of consumers who have little regard for historical distribution systems will be what drives media companies to rethink their role as gatekeepers to content. "It always seems to be about the kids," said filmmaker Ed Burns who has taken to releasing his movies on non-theatrical platforms, including Apple's iTunes, and on video-on-demand. Speaking at the National Cable Telecommunications Assn. here, Burns said that young people today "are not nostalgic for the way we consumed entertainment.
April 17, 2012 |
One-third of consumers are using Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to seek medical information, discuss symptoms and express their opinions about doctors, drugs and health insurers, according to a new report. These latest results from PwC's Health Research Institute underscore the need for healthcare providers and insurance companies to engage more with consumers online since they are increasingly making medical decisions based on the information they find there. The stakes are likely to grow as millions of younger consumers comfortable with social media enter the insurance market for the first time under the federal healthcare law. “Those medical providers and payers who are able to use social media are likely to do better in the marketplace as consumers make these decisions,” said John Edwards, a director in PwC's healthcare strategy and business intelligence practice.
March 4, 2013 |
The White House said Monday that consumers should be able to unlock their smartphones, and that it would support legislation to make such adjustments legal. The Obama administration said consumers deserve the flexibility to unlock their smartphones as well as their tablets, allowing consumers to use a device with a carrier other than the one they bought it from. "It's common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers' needs," the White House said in response to a petition.
October 24, 2012 |
Discussions of Proposition 37, the initiative that would require labeling of many genetically engineered foods, tend to bring up two arguments that both seem true at first blush. Opponents claim it would raise the price of food; supporters say it would result in better-informed consumers. But both assertions are more dubious than they appear. The No-on-37 campaign bases most of its claims of higher food prices on a study that it paid for, so obviously the findings are hardly unimpeachable.