Los Angeles Business Journal

Studios in Hot Water

European regulators opened an antitrust case Thursday, accusing major Hollywood movie studios, including Walt Disney Co., Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Warner Bros. of illegally blocking consumers in most of Europe from watching American movies and television shows, the Los Angeles Times reports. A total of seven studios have been notified.

Asking for Papal Help

Some South Los Angeles residents in a neighborhood near USC are fighting AllenCo Energy Inc.’s plans to resume drilling oil, appealing to Pope Francis to intervene to help them, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company’s oil operation is on land leased from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. The Pope has stated he believes action should be taken to find alternatives to fossil fuels. Oil production was stopped two years ago after complaints led to an investigation.

Anthem Could Buy Cigna for $48 Billion

After nearly a year of off and on again talks, Anthem Inc. is close to a deal to buy health care insurer Cigna Corp. for more than $48 billion, which would continue to shrink the number of health insurers, the Wall Street Journal reports. Anthem and Cigna are currently the second- and fifth-largest health insurers by revenue.

Trump Heads to the Border

After his controversial comments about illegal immigrants, presidential hopeful Donald Trump today heads to Laredo, Texas, which borders Mexico, for a first-hand look at border problems after being invited to take a tour with some border patrol agents, CNN reports.

Biden Lauds Minimum Wage Hike

A day after Los Angeles County approved raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the county’s unincorporated areas, Vice President Joe Biden toured North Hollywood manufacturer Bobrick Washroom Equipment Inc. to help boost a nationwide campaign to raise the minimum wage, the Los Angeles Times reports. During his speech, Biden said the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is insufficient.

Obsessed with Chipotle

Could you eat at Chipotle every day? A Los Angeles animator has set his sights on doing just that for the past six months and counting, LAist reports. He’s created a blog around it and is even planning his upcoming vacations around cities that have Chipotle locations.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 30 points in early trading Thursday at 17,821. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,114. The Nasdaq was up 12 points to 5,184. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 240.

Minimum Wage Hiked By Board of Supervisors

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to raise the minimum age to $15 an hour, up from $9, by 2020, the Los Angeles Times reports. It only applies in unincorporated areas of the county. Some business leaders and public officials are still opposed, saying it could cost jobs and could encourage some businesses to move to cities that don’t force increase.

More Water Limits Possible

You may soon have to rethink watering your lawn. In an effort to save water, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners voted Tuesday to recommend that the City Council consider rules to limit watering from three days a week to two if Los Angeles does not meet state and local conservation targets, the Los Angeles Times reports. If passed, customers could see tighter restrictions by next month.

Honest Co. to Move to Playa Vista

Santa Monica’s Honest Co. is planning a move early next year, signing a lease for more than 80,000 square feet at 12130 Millennium Drive in the office complex known as i|o at Playa Vista, the Business Journal reports. The ecommerce company, co-founded by actress Jessica Alba and L.A. entrepreneur Brian Lee, signed an 11-year lease last week that triples its current space, according to sources.

Weighing Plans for a Koreatown Museum

A proposal for a non-profit to build a Korean American Museum near Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue may raise questions about how non-profits use city property. That’s because the group also wants to build a $20 million market-rate apartment complex on the lot, which it is renting from the city for $1 a year, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. A developer estimates the property could be worth about $4 million, yet the city would get no money from the deal.

Santa Barbara Plans for Drought Relief

The drought may soon lead Santa Barbara, known for being a leader in conserving water, to finally reactivate a desalination plant as city lawmakers voted unanimously Tuesday to spend $55 million to do so, the Los Angeles Times reports. The plant is expected to be operating by 2016.

Barcelona Wins

It was an historic night in Pasadena as Barcelona, even in the absence of two of its superstars, Lionel Messi and Neymar, defeated the L.A. Galaxy 2-1 before a sold-out Rose Bowl with more than 93,000 people in attendance, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 29 points in Wednesday morning trading to 17,890. The S&P 500 was down five points to 2,114. The Nasdaq was down 42 points to 5,167. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 239.

L.A. Hospitals are Tops

The best hospital rankings are out and Los Angeles hospitals measured up, with UCLA Medical Center tying for third place on the U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll, which is reserved for hospitals nationwide ranking near the top in six or more specialties, the Business Journal reports. Cedars-Sinai was the top-ranked hospital in the Los Angeles Metro area.