Business digest: Antitrust official says T-Mobile increases competition

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Posted: Saturday, February 1, 2014 12:00 am | Updated: 2:08 pm, Thu Jun 5, 2014.

T-Mobile US Inc. has “spearheaded” increased competition in the wireless market after the U.S. blocked its takeover by AT&T Inc. in 2011, demonstrating the benefits of antitrust enforcement, a senior Justice Department official said. T-Mobile is gaining customers by investing in its network, offering cheaper plans and paying early-termination fees if subscribers switch to the company, Bill Baer, the head of the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division, said. “Competition in the wireless sector has flourished and consumers have benefited,” Baer said Thursday.

Americans increased their spending at a solid pace for the second straight month in December even though their income was flat. The Commerce Department said Friday that consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in December. The growth was an even stronger 0.6 percent in November. Income, however, showed no gain at all in December after a 0.2 percent rise in November. For all of 2013, income growth was 2.8 percent, the weakest performance since 2009.

Honda’s quarterly profit doubled from a year earlier as sales got a big perk from a weak yen. Honda Motor Co. reported on Friday a 160.7 billion yen ($1.58 billion) net profit for the October-December fiscal third quarter, up from 77.4 billion yen the year before. The maker of the Fit subcompact, Odyssey minivan and Asimo humanoid, posted a 25 percent jump in quarterly sales. A favorable exchange rate helped Honda’s fortunes. The dollar has been trading above 100 yen compared with about 80 yen a year earlier. A weak yen helps lift the value of Japanese exporters’ overseas revenue.

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