Business

Hawaii, other states reach antitrust settlement over ebook pricing

Hawaii Attorney General David M. Louie, along with 53 attorneys general in other states, districts and U.S. territories, announced today that they have reached an antitrust settlement with three of the largest book publishers in the United States. Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, and Simon & Schuster have agreed to pay a total of more than $69 million to consumers to resolve antitrust claims of an alleged unlawful conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books (E-books). They have also agreed to change the way they price E-books going forward. The settlement occurs in conjunction with a civil antitrust lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster. The lawsuit alleges that the three settling publishers and two nonsettling publishers, Macmillan and Penguin, “conspired and agreed to increase retail E-book prices for all consumers” and “agreed to eliminate E-book retail price competition between E-book outlets, such that retail prices to consumers would be the same regardless of the outlet patronized by the consumer.” [...]

Hawaiian Airlines upgrades in-flight meals, hospitality

In the first comprehensive redesign of its domestic onboard service product in more than a decade, Hawaiian Airlines has cemented its signature ‘Mea Ho‘okipa Service’ as the gold standard in domestic air travel and the only authentic Hawaii experience in air travel. Hawaiian’s ‘Mea Ho‘okipa’ (translation: I am host) inflight service philosophy has long been embraced by travelers for its celebration of the culture, people and Aloha Spirit of Hawaii. Reintroduced August 1 on all flights between Hawaii and its 11 gateway cities in North America, Hawaiian has taken its acclaimed inflight service and made it even more enjoyable with enticing new made-in-Hawaii products, Island-style complimentary meals and improved service offerings. The new program was inspired by customer feedback, solicited by Hawaiian to further align its service with the things that customers value most in onboard service and amenities. [...]

Hawaii Apps company to tackle booming mobile business

A new local company has set its sights on no less than the top spot among Hawaii’s mobile app developers. Today, Hawaii Apps Inc. is launching an Island-based business focusing only on the development of mobile apps to help local businesses, government agencies, community organizations and individuals “tap” into the marketing, advertising and entertainment potential of mobile apps. “Mobile apps are where the world is going,” said Melialani “Meli” James, one of four principals who founded Hawaii Apps. “We want to offer Hawaii the chance to get in on the trend, for Island businesses and individuals to be able to create an app that will be developed right here in the Islands, by people who know Hawaii’s culture, traditions and lifestyle.” [...]

Wally Amos Returns to Cookies with ‘WAMOS’

Nationally renown, Honolulu-based entrepreneur Wally Amos is returning to the business that made him “Famous Amos.” He posted the announcement on Facebook, where he’d accumulated the maximum 5,000 friends, asking them in turn to spread the word. “I am re-entering cookie business,” Amos wrote. ” I will sell three flavors from my original recipe; chocolate chip, butterscotch chip pecans, [and] chocolate chip pecans.” Amos launched the “Famous Amos” brand of cookies in 1975, starting with a cookie store in California and growing to find space on supermarket shelves across the country. His name and likeness became so synonymous with success that he found a career in public speaking and authoring books. Amos even appeared as himself in an episode of the ABC sitcom “Taxi” in 1981. [...]

Kakaako incubator hatches Screenfuse service

A local group of entrepreneurs and developers yesterday unveiled ScreenFuse, an interactive social media display for businesses and special events. The web-based service creates an attractive, live-updating screen that can show real-time social media activity connected to a store, restaurant, hotel, concert, or conference. Screenfuse was developed in under a month by Hawaii-based web developer Evan Nagle, digital designer John Garcia, and L.A.-based entrepreneur Mike Prasad. The startup was incubated at The Greenhouse Innovation Hub in Kakaako. [...]

Algae demonstration commissioned at West Oahu refinery

Kuehnle AgroSystems, a producer of specialized algae strains and bulk concentrated algae designed to meet the diverse needs of the animal nutrition, specialty chemical and biofuels markets, has announced the commissioning of an algae demonstration project at the Chevron Hawaii refinery. The demonstration project, funded by the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture and the Office of Naval Research, produces algae using recycled CO2 waste streams and wastewater by-product from Chevron’s refinery to cultivate algae in specially designed closed growing systems. Chevron’s role in this project is to serve as a host site and a source of recycled CO2 and wastewater for KAS to conduct its research. [...]

Isle Realtors help Habitat for Humanity

“Realtor Raise: Project Playhouse” was held recently on the Big Island, a fun event to boost home ownership in Hawaii. Hawaii Life was one of four playhouse contributors, raising thousands of dollars to support the Habitat for Humanity mission. The playhouses were generously donated, including the “Life Boat” from Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers. Wildly imaginative and solidly constructed, the playhouses were then given away to the lucky key holders. Leading up to and on the day of the event, key-chains were sold to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. The key-chains qualified the contributors to try their keys in the playhouse doors, and if they opened, they won the playhouse. The Hawaii Island Board of Realtors (HIBR) also donated a playhouse to the fundraiser. Mealoha Kraus, who works in public relations with HIBR, “was overwhelmed by the number of people who came and waited for their turn to see if they had the right key.” [...]

PBS Hawaii wins $5 million grant for new studios

Hawaii’s only public television station today announced that The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation has awarded PBS Hawaii a $5 million grant to help the organization build a new home in Honolulu. The educational nonprofit organization has an urgent need for a new facility because it is losing its lease at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where it has occupied space for more than 40 years. PBS Hawaii’s future home, located along Nimitz Highway at 315 Sand Island Access Road, will be named The Clarence T.C. Ching Campus. PBS Hawaii will renovate and expand an existing one-story building on the site and re-locate operations in 2014. The site, purchased in January 2009, formerly housed the KFVE Newsplex. “The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation wants to see public television survive and thrive for the sake of future generations of Islanders,” said foundation trustee Kenneth Okamoto. [...]