Business Digest: Company sued by Yeti says it has shut down


LAWSUITS

Company sued by Yeti says it has shut down

One of the two companies sued this month by Austin-based Yeti Coolers says it’s no longer in business.

Brandy Vickery with Livingston-based Axis Cups told the American-Statesman that the company had already liquidated its stock and shut down its online store before Yeti filed its lawsuit, which accuses Axis of manufacturing and selling “confusingly similar” products.

In addition to Axis, Yeti, which sells high-end coolers and travel mugs, has filed similar suits against at least three other companies.

Prior to the suit in U.S. District Court, Vickery said his lawyers and Yeti’s legal team had “sent a few letters back and forth.”

“I’m done,” he said. “It’s just not worth it.”

Vickery said he operates three other businesses and plans to focus his attention on those companies going forward.

AUTOMAKERS

VW to pay $157M to settle claims by 10 states

DETROIT — Volkswagen is paying more than $157 million to 10 states to settle environmental lawsuits over the company’s diesel emissions-cheating scandal.

The company says the money will go to Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. All 10 states follow California’s clean air standards.

The settlement covers 3-Liter six-cylinder diesel engines and is separate from a $603 million agreement reached last year with 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico that covered 2-liter engines.

Volkswagen has admitted to programming its diesel engines to activate pollution controls during government treadmill tests and turning them off for roadway driving.

VW has paid out more than $20 billion to buy back or repair cars and pay criminal and civil fines and legal settlements related to the scandal.

AUTOMAKERS

Ford hires 400 for connected car research

TORONTO — Ford Motor Co. will hire about 400 employees from software company BlackBerry Ltd. as part of sizable new investments in Canada that include a connected-vehicle research center in Ottawa, company officials said Thursday.

Ford said the Ottawa research center is part of a $500 million Canadian (US$376 million) investment. It comes amid a race by automakers to secure engineering talent to ensure they don’t get left behind as vehicles become increasingly automated and connected to each other and the world around them, analysts said.

The new Ottawa Research and Engineering Centre in Canada will focus on research and development across infotainment, in-vehicle modems, gateway modules, driver-assist features and autonomous vehicles, according to Ford. Additional facilities will be in Waterloo and Oakville, Ontario, as well as Cary, North Carolina and Sunrise, Florida. It will be Ford’s first center focused on connectivity research and advanced technology in Canada.

E-COMMERCE

Online tax collection effort revived at in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas legislative committee revived a proposal Thursday forcing online retailers to collect Arkansas sales taxes, just two days after a lawmaker behind the bill declared it dead for this year’s session.

The measure advanced by the House Revenue and Taxation Committee requires companies without a physical presence in Arkansas that make more than $100,000 in annual sales or at least 200 transactions in the state to collect and remit sales taxes on those purchases.

Amazon this month began collecting Arkansas sales taxes on purchases made by state residents. The e-commerce giant recently announced it would begin collecting in every state that charges sales tax.

The Senate measure, backed by Bentonville-based Wal-Mart, would require retailers that don’t collect and remit the tax to send information about purchases made by Arkansas residents to the state.



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