The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 1:00 am


Sweetwater set to unveil warehouse

Staff, news services

Sweetwater Sound on Monday will unveil the new $52.5 million warehouse on its campus along U.S. 30 West.

Those attending the invitation-only event will be able to tour the state-of-the-art facility that the company broke ground for in October 2018. The warehouse has nearly 480,000 square feet, which will allow the online retailer of music instruments and audio gear to more quickly process and ship more than twice what it could in previous space.

As part of the expansion plan announced in 2018, Sweetwater plans to break ground in July for a new conference center. The $31 million project will provide banquet and meeting space for the company and the community and is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2021.

Sweetwater said it also plans more than $20 million of additional construction and renovations between April and February 2021.

Daimler AG sees loss during 4th quarter

Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, saw profit slump in 2019 and turned in a loss for the fourth quarter, underlining the pressures on the auto industry from economic headwinds and the need to invest in electric cars to meet tougher European Union limits on greenhouse gases

The company also saw deductions to earnings from regulatory troubles regarding the emissions of its diesel cars.

Net profit for the full year fell to 2.71 billion euros ($2.94 billion) from 7.58 billion euros.

In the fourth quarter of the year the Stuttgart-based company lost 11 million euros, compared with a profit of 1.64 billion euros in the year-earlier quarter. The company said it would cut its dividend to 90 euro cents for the year, from 3.25 euros in 2018.

Investigation into tech giants grows

Federal regulators are ramping up their investigation of the market dominance of giant tech companies.

The Federal Trade Commission is demanding detailed information from Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google's parent, Alphabet Inc., on acquisitions of smaller companies back to 2010.

The head of the agency says that as a result of the review, the government might require tech giants to unwind earlier acquisitions.

The FTC and the Justice Department have been investigating the conduct of big tech companies and whether they aggressively bought smaller potential rivals to suppress competition and hurt consumers.

Some critics have pointed to Facebook's acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp, for example, as deals that should be questioned.

Arkansas opens up land once held

A community in southwest Arkansas plans to pitch a site it has been holding for a $1.8 billion Chinese paper mill to other industrial prospects amid growing signs that the project's future is at risk because of trade tensions.

Sun Paper announced in 2016 it would build a facility on the 1,000-acre site in Arkadelphia in 2016.

The project has since faced uncertainty because of President Donald Trump's ongoing trade dispute with China, so the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance decided to market to other prospects.

“We just didn't want to wait a year or longer to see if a trade agreement is signed,” said Stephen Bell, the alliance's president and chief executive officer.

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