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June 18, 1995
Re: "Concert Business Awaits the Word on Ticketing Issue" (May 30). Rather than outlaw exclusive contracts between event promoters and ticket distributors, I'd attack the fee arrangements as misleading advertising. It's a "truth in advertising" loophole that lets promoters advertise tickets at less than their actual price by splitting out the difference as a separate fee. As far as actual costs are concerned, I wouldn't be surprised if economies of scale let the distributors distribute tickets for less than it would cost the promoters to handle their own distribution.
June 13, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
A California congresswoman asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate allegations that Herbalife Ltd. operates a well-disguised pyramid scheme that victimizes “our country's most vulnerable populations.” Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-Cerritos) said in a letter to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez that she was “troubled that this company may be harming consumers,” noting allegations that Herbalife's independent distributors are compensated more for recruiting new distributors than for sales.
December 13, 1992
While James Bates wrote a balanced column ("Footnotes," Dec. 7) about my multilevel marketing business, he made one serious slip of the word that unfairly indicted my company. When he wrote, "Omnitrition is a 'multilevel marketing' company, in which distributors make money when they recruit other distributors," he inadvertently accused us of illegal activity. Not only is the statement absolutely wrong, making money strictly off recruitment, in fact, is against federal law. Omnitrition is a legal company providing part-time and full-time financial opportunities for thousands.
October 23, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
It looks like former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who we heard was intent on keeping his political options open when he left City Hall this summer -- a run for governor was mentioned -- has instead decided to go for the money. The question is how many conflicts of interest this onetime rising Democratic star can juggle at once. Villaraigosa's newest deal is an advisory contract with the big public relations firm Edelman. That's curious, because Edelman also handles PR for hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, who has been on a months-long campaign to bring down the Los Angeles multilevel marketing firm Herbalife Ltd. -- where Villaraigosa is also a paid advisor.
October 4, 2009 | Andrea Chang
Amid rising unemployment, more Americans are selling cosmetics, vitamins, kitchen knives and other goods to their friends and neighbors. Or trying to, anyway. Industry figures suggest that as the ranks of salespeople grow, the increased competition is making it harder for many to move merchandise. That has left people like Lisa Wilson stuck with closets full of unsold inventory. "You get pity purchases from your family, who feel guilty if they say no or they want to support you in your new endeavor.
September 28, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
Get ready for a new branch in "The Tree of Life" debate. Magnolia Pictures said Friday morning it had acquired "To the Wonder," Terrence Malick's follow-up to 'Tree," and will release it theatrically next year. The move concludes a month-long period in which distributors had vacillated on a picture that had divided audiences at the Venice and Toronto International Film festivals. Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles called "Wonder" a "romantic, haunting and beautiful film that will be endlessly rewarding for movie lovers.
April 25, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Herbalife Ltd., battling a billionaire investor's bet that its stock will tank, is expected to reassure shareholders at the company's annual meeting Thursday that the Los Angeles nutritional products maker is a strong, healthy, legitimate operation. The meeting at the Beverly Hilton comes amid lingering questions about Herbalife's future. For several months, two activist investors have put the company's core operation at issue. Bill Ackman has bet $1 billion that the company is a pyramid scheme that will fail, and Carl Icahn bought 15% of Herbalife's stock, wagering that its business is legally sound and will withstand Ackman's attack.
November 26, 1996 | SCOTT STEEPLETON
Fifty years after its founders started doing business from a tent in the Avenue area of west Ventura, magazine distributor Schulze News Co. will close on Jan. 24. On Friday, company President Dave Schulze, 53, called the nearly 30 employees together at the headquarters on Palma Drive in Ventura to break the news. He cited competition among distributors as the reason for the closure. He said Schulze News Co.
May 3, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Things are starting to get personal in the battle between hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and Herbalife Ltd., the Los Angeles nutritional products company he's accused of operating a long-running pyramid scheme. Herbalife spokeswoman Barbara Henderson said today that Ackman is making false allegations about the company because he's “increasingly desperate to distract the market from focusing on his J.C. Penney disaster.” Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management owns nearly 18% of struggling J.C. Penney, which has seen its stock drop 12% this year.
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