- - Thursday, December 22, 2011


Best Buy cancels some online orders

ATLANTA | Best Buy has alerted some customers that it will not be able to fill their online orders, just days before Christmas.

The largest U.S. specialty electronics retailer said late Wednesday that “overwhelming demand for some products from Bestbuy.com has led to a problem redeeming online orders made in November and December.

The Minneapolis company declined Thursday to specify how many orders are affected or which products are out of stock.

The shortages are a black eye for Best Buy, which has beefed up its online campaign to fight off intense competition from online retailers and discount stores. And the holiday season is crucial for retailers like Best Buy because it can make up to 40 percent of annual sales.

Some glitches should not be a surprise with such a massive surge in online shopping this year, analysts said, but there is a risk of a backlash.

The canceled orders probably won’t make a big difference for Best Buy’s holiday sales this year, but it may lead to more customers looking elsewhere in the future, experts said.


BNY Mellon subsidiary settles probe for $1.3M

ALBANY | The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. will pay $1.3 million to three states to settle an investigation into manipulative trading of auction rate securities facilitated by employees at one of the company’s subsidiaries, the New York attorney general’s office announced Thursday.

Under the agreement, BNY Mellon agreed to cease any further violations of New York’s Martin Act, which prohibits deception in offering securities. The deal ends a joint investigation with the Texas State Securities Board and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. The $1.3 million is for penalties, fees and costs to the three states.

“Today’s announcement sends a clear message that the manipulative trading of auction rate securities in New York will not be tolerated under any circumstances,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. “My office will continue to protect the integrity of New York’s global financial markets at all costs.”

Ron Sommer, spokesman for BNY Mellon Capital Markets, successor to Mellon Financial Markets LLC that was investigated, said the company was pleased to resolve the matter, “which centered on the isolated conduct of three individuals who are no longer with the company.”


Roundup nabs counterfeit goods

MIAMI | Authorities conducting a six-week counterfeit sweep in three countries seized 327,000 phony items including fake Hello Kitty clothing and cheap imitation Casio G-Shock sport watches that if legitimate carry suggested retail prices of more than $76 million, federal investigators said Thursday.

“Counterfeiting remains a significant problem that demands strong enforcement efforts both here and abroad,” said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton.

ICE and other agencies, as well as the Mexican and South Korean governments, targeted flea markets, seaports, land ports of entry, swap meets and retail stores between Nov. 1 and Dec. 9 in 66 cities in the U.S., 55 cities in Mexico and in Seoul. Handbags, cellphones, toys, computer software, DVDs and sports jerseys were among other items seized.

Thirty-three people have been arrested on charges of trafficking in counterfeit goods. Investigators said they hope the sweep dubbed “Operation Holiday Hoax II” will help them identify organized crime groups behind the multimillion-dollar fake merchandise industry.

For example, the G-Shock watch retails for around $100. Fake ones can be made for a few dollars in China, then sold at a flea market or on the street corner for $30. That’s a huge profit for the counterfeiters, but not the good deal it might seem for the purchaser.

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