Autos: Has Detroit got a deal for you
Some Detroit carmakers are offering sales incentives in the face of stiffer competition from Toyota and Honda, which have rebuilt U.S. sales after inventory shortages following last year’s tsunami in Japan. To clear out end-of-model-year vehicles, General Motors is offering no-haggle, discounted pricing on 2012 Chevrolet cars and trucks, plus a money-back guarantee on all new Chevys. The promotions run at participating dealers through Sept. 4. Chrysler, the automaker controlled by Fiat, is letting buyers put off monthly payments for the first 90 days in a national promotion that applies to all of its vehicles. The offer runs through the end of July.
Banks: A clearer mortgage form
U.S. mortgage lenders must give prospective borrowers simplified disclosure forms to explain costs and risks, according to new rules proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The rules, open for public comment, also change how the annual percentage rate is calculated to include some costs now excluded, such as charges for title searches and appraisals. The CFPB proposed as well that lenders should not be able to require balloon payments or charge prepayment penalties on loans with high rates and fees.
American Airlines: Considering a merger
American Airlines CEO Thomas Horton said he’s ready to evaluate mergers and other restructuring options after getting a better read on potential revenue and costs if the airline stays independent after bankruptcy. American, a unit of AMR, had resisted considering mergers or a breakup since it sought Chapter 11 protection in November. It will begin contacting potential suitors soon, Horton said. US Airways Group has been courting support among American’s unions, bondholders, and creditors for a merger between the two.
Comcast: Streaming every Olympics event
Comcast’s NBCUniversal is providing live online coverage of every Olympics event for the first time. The catch: Viewers must be pay-TV subscribers to watch on their tablets, PCs, or mobile phones. The network plans to produce 3,500 hours of online coverage of all 32 sports and 302 medal events on NBCOlympics.com. The network is also teaming up with Facebook to promote interaction with viewers. By encouraging live Internet coverage, NBC is embracing a vision of pay TV that extends beyond the living room.
GitHub: The startup attracts a big investment
Andreessen Horowitz is investing $100 million, its largest single financing ever, in GitHub, a startup that develops online tools to help communities of software developers collaborate and build programs. GitHub, which is used by businesses including Facebook and Twitter, charges users monthly subscriptions between $7 and $200 to store programming source code and offers programs that make it easy for decentralized teams to contribute to a single project. Bloomberg LP is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz.