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Judge OKs United-Continental deal

SAN FRANCISCO » A federal judge has declined to block the combination of United Airlines and Continental Airlines, clearing the way for the deal to close by Friday.

Forty-nine travelers had sued in San Francisco, claiming the deal would raise fares. They asked Judge Richard Seeborg to stop the deal from closing until a jury can hear their claims.

The judge’s ruling said the travelers have not shown that they personally would be harmed enough to stop the deal from moving forward. Seeborg wrote on Monday that none of the plaintiffs testified to having flown regularly, and that only one said she is likely to use United or Continental when she does fly.

The Justice Department already has said it has no antitrust objections to the deal.

United spokeswoman Jean Medina said the airline is pleased with the judge’s decision.

Kakaako Makai public input sought

An "open house" for the public to view and comment on the vision for redeveloping parts of Kakaako Makai continues this week through Saturday at the Hawaii Community Development Authority at 461 Cooke St.

The office is open today from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

JetBlue CEO critical of merger idea

NEW YORK » JetBlue’s chief executive officer says his airline doesn’t need to combine with another carrier to compete with Southwest.

According to an internal memo obtained yesterday by the Associated Press, CEO Dave Barger says growing too fast through an acquisition could jeopardize JetBlue Airways Corp.’s financial stability. The 10-year-old airline, which is based in New York, was mentioned by some analysts as a deal candidate after Southwest Airlines Co. agreed Monday to buy AirTran Holdings Inc. for $1.4 billion. Those airlines are JetBlue’s main discount rivals.

Coca-Cola to invest $1B in Philippines

NEW YORK » Coca-Cola Co. said yesterday it will spend $1 billion in the Philippines during the next five years to expand its presence in the fast-growing market, another step by the world’s largest beverage company to focus more on emerging markets. Coca-Cola will focus on boosting marketing and improving its delivery capabilities in the country. Coca-Cola said its operations in the Philippines have seen strong growth on the back of several new products during the first half of 2010.

AOL buys tech blog owner for $25M

AOL Inc., the Internet company spun off from Time Warner Inc., agreed to buy technology-blog owner TechCrunch Inc. to add news content and advertising revenue. TechCrunch’s blogs will become part of the AOL Technology Network "while retaining their editorial independence," AOL said yesterday. The company paid about $25 million, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Earlier yesterday AOL acquired 5min Media, which has a library of more than 200,000 videos covering topics such as fashion, cooking and fitness. The company also purchased Thing Labs, which makes the Brizzly line of social software. The programs let users create and share content online.

On the Move

The Gas Co. has named Joe Boivin senior vice president of marketing and strategic initiatives. He was previously vice president of operations for the company. Boivin’s experience includes being an engineer in project management as well as working in private equity investment management and aerospace engineering.

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Chittranjan Ray has been elected a fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is a professor at University of Hawaii-Manoa Civil and Environmental Engineering and serves as interim director of the Water Resources Research Center at UH-Manoa.

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The Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce has named Christine H.H. Camp the 2010 Korean Entrepreneur of the Year. She is founder, president and chief executive officer of Avalon Group, which provides a variety of real estate advisory and management services. Camp’s experience also includes being the first female operating vice president of A&B Properties as well as working for Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii, where she helped develop 950 single- and multifamily projects.

 

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