ASCAP loses bid to force higher rates from Pandora
A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of Internet streaming service Pandora in a dispute with the songwriters rights society ASCAP. ASCAP — the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers — had been seeking to raise what Pandora pays songwriters. But because of the society's enormous clout, representing about half of all composers and publishers in the nation, the government has put conditions on its activities for decades. On Wednesday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said ASCAP must still license its works to Pandora at a court-set rate.
Mortgage rates are highest since March
Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates are up this week to the highest level since mid-March. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said the national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.80 percent this week from 3.68 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.02 percent, up from 2.94 percent and the first time it's topped 3 percent since it hit 3.06 percent in mid-March.
Consumers are borrowing more
The Federal Reserve reports that consumer borrowing expanded by $20.5 billion in March to a fresh record of $3.36 trillion. It was the largest increase since a $26.7 billion surge in April 2014. Borrowing in the category that covers credit cards shot up $4.4 billion in March after having fallen in January and February. It was the biggest gain for consumer credit since last July.
Fitbit plans to go public on NYSE
Fitbit Inc., a maker of fitness-tracking wristbands, filed for an initial public offering in New York. The company disclosed a prospectus Thursday with a $100 million placeholder, an amount used to calculate fees that will most likely change. In December, a person with knowledge of the matter said Fitbit could raise about $150 million in an IPO.
Fitbit plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. It is working with Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of America Corp. on the IPO.