ClearOne Communications, a Utah-based provider of audio-visual conferencing equipment, signed a distribution agreement with D&H Distributing. D&H will distribute ClearOne's new line of software-based video-conferencing products and voice-over-Internet protocol conference phones to technology resellers and retailers. D&H was Cisco's Small Business Distributor of the Year for 2010.
The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid declined sharply last week as a temporary spike caused by Superstorm Sandy faded. The Labor Department said that applications dropped 25,000, to a seasonally adjusted 370,000, a level consistent with modest hiring.
Starbucks: We'll pay
more taxes than asked
Starbucks bowed to mounting pressure over its tax affairs in Britain and revealed that it would pay about $16 million in each of the next two years. Having been accused by the country's lawmakers of "immorally" avoiding taxes, Starbucks' U.K. managing director v said the firm will pay more than required by law. The Seattle-based coffee company has 700 British outlets.
expects U.S. fines
Standard Chartered bank expects to pay $330 million in fines to U.S. agencies to settle money-laundering charges tied to f violating sanctions against Iran. The bank said it believes probes by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Treasury and Federal Reserve will soon be resolved. The bank previously paid $340 million to settle an investigation by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
UN: World food
A United Nations agency reported prices of basic foods fell by 1.5 percent last month, with the costs globally of all commodities except dairy products dropping. The Food and Agriculture Organization said the decline puts the value of its November index nearly 3 percent below a year ago. Sugar prices saw the sharpest drop, followed by oils and cereals.
posts 3Q loss
Tax preparation company H&R Block Inc. reported a third-quarter loss from continuing operations of 37 cents per share. Revenue climbed to $137.3 million, mostly because of a strong tax season in Australia. Block usually reports a loss in the period because it makes most of its revenue during the U.S. tax season.