6 Most Important Things in Business Today

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) has set a deal with tech firm Softbank to work on autonomous cars. According to Reuters:

Toyota Motor Corp and SoftBank Group Corp said they will team up to develop car services that rely on self-driving technology, such as hospital shuttles, as they envision a future in which fewer people drive their own vehicles.

The partnership between Japan’s top automaker and its most influential tech giant shows that even big well-funded players fear being left behind in the race to develop autonomous and connected cars.

Nintendo has a new addition to its product line. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Nintendo Co. plans to release a new version of its Switch videogame console next year to maintain the sales momentum of the device, according to suppliers and others with direct knowledge of the plan.

Sales of the Switch, introduced in March 2017, are still solid but are no longer delivering the favorable surprises that marked the machine’s first year on the market. Nintendo shares, which rose sharply last year, have trailed the broader stock market this year. The move to update the Switch suggests the Kyoto, Japan, company is moving quickly to ensure its flagship product doesn’t lose competitiveness.

Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) may sell itself. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Barnes & Noble Inc. said it is considering a sale after receiving interest from multiple parties including its executive chairman, Leonard Riggio, the latest twist for the embattled bookseller as its business reaches a critical juncture following years of decline.

The company on Wednesday said it would launch a formal review process to evaluate its strategic options. A special committee of the board will lead the review.

Car deaths fell slightly from 2016 to 2017. According to The Wall Street Journal:

U.S. traffic fatalities fell in 2017 but remained at a near decade-high level, illustrating the challenges auto makers and regulators face in making roadways safer.

The number of lives lost last year on U.S. roads was 37,133, a 1.8% drop from 2016, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data released Wednesday. The agency, which collected data from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., found deaths tied to speeding were down 5.6%, and alcohol-related fatalities had fallen 1.1% Inc. (NYSE: AMZN) hourly workers got a raise. However, bonuses were cut at the same time. According to CNBC:

Amazon’s minimum-wage increase for its hourly workers comes with a trade-off: no more monthly bonuses and stock awards.

Amazon confirmed in an email to CNBC that the company is getting rid of incentive pay and stock option awards as it increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The company, however, stressed that the wage increase “more than compensates” for the loss in other benefits.

Internet companies have taken California to count over net neutrality regulations. According to The Verge:

Four lobbying groups representing some of the largest telecom companies in the country filed a lawsuit Wednesday opposing California’s net neutrality law in an attempt to stop it from going into effect next year.

The four industry groups filing the lawsuit were USTelecom, CTIA, NCTA, and the ACA —groups which represent telecom corporations like AT&T; Verizon Wireless; Charter Communications; and Comcast, and mobile companies like T-Mobile. This is the second lawsuit filed following the passage of California’s net neutrality law on Sunday. The first was fired off by the Department of Justice only hours after the bill received its final signature from Governor Jerry Brown.

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