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There's one part of Snapchat that Facebook can't copy: CEO Evan Spiegel

Four years ago, Evan Spiegel made the bet of his life, rejecting Facebook’s $3-billion offer for his fledgling video messaging app, Snapchat. Facebook responded by moving aggressively to clone what it couldn’t buy. The defining features of Snapchat — disappearing images, playful cartoon graphics...

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  • Snapchat firm reportedly closing in on $25-billion valuation for IPO

    Snapchat firm reportedly closing in on $25-billion valuation for IPO

    Snap Inc.'s IPO updates: Protestors demonstrate outside Venice offices March 1, 2017, 1:01 p.m. Snapchat app maker Snap Inc. is expected to move forward with what’s expected to be the biggest initial public offering ever for a Los Angeles company on Wednesday. The fund raising would be followed...

  • SeaWorld reports lackluster revenues and a drop in attendance

    SeaWorld reports lackluster revenues and a drop in attendance

    SeaWorld attendance and revenue extended their slump in the final quarter of 2016, even as the financial picture brightened at its San Diego and San Antonio parks, the company reported Tuesday. Across its 12 parks, SeaWorld Entertainment generated revenue of $267.6 million, down slightly from $267.9...

  • Amazon cloud service outage breaks parts of the Internet

    Amazon cloud service outage breaks parts of the Internet

    Amazon’s S3 Web service was down Tuesday morning, wreaking havoc on the Internet — and on social media. Amazon Simple Storage Service, or Amazon S3, provides Web hosting, image and file storage and backup storage services for a wide variety of companies, including Netflix, Airbnb and Slack. Its...

  • Here's how teens use Snapchat

    Here's how teens use Snapchat

    Snapchat could be valued at more than $20 billion in an initial public offering this week. But that lofty figure might rapidly sink if the app doesn’t keep adding users. The popular photo and video messaging app, owned by parent company Snap Inc., boasts 158 million daily active users — most of...

  • How the Los Angeles Times has described Snapchat over the years

    How the Los Angeles Times has described Snapchat over the years

    Snap Inc.'s IPO updates: Protestors demonstrate outside Venice offices March 1, 2017, 1:01 p.m. Snapchat app maker Snap Inc. is expected to move forward with what’s expected to be the biggest initial public offering ever for a Los Angeles company on Wednesday. The fund raising would be followed...

  • Snap wants to go public but not run as a public company

    Snap wants to go public but not run as a public company

    Snap Inc.'s IPO updates: Protestors demonstrate outside Venice offices March 1, 2017, 1:01 p.m. Snapchat app maker Snap Inc. is expected to move forward with what’s expected to be the biggest initial public offering ever for a Los Angeles company on Wednesday. The fund raising would be followed...

  • Snap's IPO could make some employees millionaires while others are left out

    Snap's IPO could make some employees millionaires while others are left out

    Snap Inc.'s IPO updates: Protestors demonstrate outside Venice offices March 1, 2017, 1:01 p.m. Snapchat app maker Snap Inc. is expected to move forward with what’s expected to be the biggest initial public offering ever for a Los Angeles company on Wednesday. The fund raising would be followed...

  • Snap has no headquarters

    Snap has no headquarters

    Snap Inc.'s IPO updates: Protestors demonstrate outside Venice offices March 1, 2017, 1:01 p.m. Snapchat app maker Snap Inc. is expected to move forward with what’s expected to be the biggest initial public offering ever for a Los Angeles company on Wednesday. The fund raising would be followed...

  • Stocks fall, breaking the Dow's 12-day win streak

    Stocks fall, breaking the Dow's 12-day win streak

    A slide led by Target and other big retailers pulled U.S. stock indexes lower Tuesday, snapping a 12-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average. Industrial stocks and phone companies were also among the big decliners. Energy companies fell as crude oil prices edged lower. Utilities...

  • Starbucks CEO says it's ready to enter Italy after 35 years 

    Starbucks CEO says it's ready to enter Italy after 35 years 

    Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz's vision for the chain was largely inspired by the coffee bars he saw on his first trip to Milan more than three decades ago. But it took the company growing to about 26,000 stores in 75 countries to win the credibility he felt necessary to make the leap...

  • Oscar ratings, still in the doldrums, fall to 9-year low

    Oscar ratings, still in the doldrums, fall to 9-year low

    The debacle may go down as one of the wildest moments ever on an Oscars telecast. But the extraordinary scene — in which the wrong movie was announced for best picture at the end of the show —  had no impact on anemic ratings for Hollywood’s biggest night. The 89th Academy Awards was watched by...

  • Uber executive leaves after failing to disclose sex harassment allegation

    Uber executive leaves after failing to disclose sex harassment allegation

    A top engineering executive at Uber, Amit Singhal, is out five weeks after his hire was announced. According to a report in the tech blog Recode, Singhal failed to disclose that he'd left his previous job at Google because of a sexual harassment allegation. Singhal denied the allegation and said...

  • Durable goods orders jump 1.8% due to demand for military, commercial aircraft

    Durable goods orders jump 1.8% due to demand for military, commercial aircraft

    U.S. businesses in January boosted their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods by the largest amount in three months, but a key category that tracks business investment plans slipped.  Orders for durable goods rose 1.8% in January after two months of declines, the Commerce Department said...

  • California Inc.: A new era is ready for takeoff at LAX

    California Inc.: A new era is ready for takeoff at LAX

    Welcome to California Inc., the weekly newsletter of the L.A. Times Business section. I'm Business columnist David Lazarus, and here's a rundown of upcoming stories this week and the highlights of last week. Trading resumes Monday with dark clouds over the retail sector. J.C. Penney said Friday...

  • When the landlord wants to remodel but the tenant doesn't want to leave, who wins?

    When the landlord wants to remodel but the tenant doesn't want to leave, who wins?

    Question: My landlord told me in a letter that they were planning to remodel my kitchen and bath and that I would have to vacate for two weeks while the work is done. My family can’t afford a hotel, and we don’t have family in the area that can put us up for two weeks. Can my landlord force us...

  • The new reverse mortgage is safer but still expensive

    The new reverse mortgage is safer but still expensive

    Dear Liz: If you have never written about the new reverse mortgages, please consider it. I’m nearly 90 and this Home Equity Conversion Mortgage sounds too good to be true. Is it? I’ve talked to a broker and a direct lender and attended a two-hour seminar on the subject. Answer: Reverse mortgages...

  • Her brand helps others brand themselves: The design maven who helped name TiVo and Kindle

    Her brand helps others brand themselves: The design maven who helped name TiVo and Kindle

    The gig: Karin Hibma, 65, is co-founder and principal of brand-strategy consulting firm Cronan, based in Berkeley, and is best known for coming up with the names for TiVo and Amazon’s Kindle. Cronan has done work for Apple, Levi Strauss, Estee Lauder and many others. Hibma and her team plumb a...

  • United and American Airlines to board basic economy passengers last

    United and American Airlines to board basic economy passengers last

    To better complete with ultra low-cost carriers, United and American Airlines this week began selling their new “basic economy” seats, a bare-bones fare with almost no extras included. Not only will the airlines allow no cancellations, upgrades or refunds for basic economy passengers, but the carriers...

  • Can an HOA palm off responsibility for maintaining common-area greenery?

    Can an HOA palm off responsibility for maintaining common-area greenery?

    Question: We own a detached single-family home in a common interest development and are in a difficult situation with the board.  Our water bills have been going way up over the years and we just discovered that the association’s shrubs outside our property walls are being watered from our home...

  • 4 credit card trends for 2017 and what they mean for you

    4 credit card trends for 2017 and what they mean for you

    In 2016, high-end credit cards attracted a lot of attention with generous rewards and perks. But this year, issuers are going back to basics — and perhaps charging you more in the process. Here are four credit card industry trends taking shape for 2017. 1. More bread-and-butter rewards Instead...

  • Why Snapchat's unprecedented real estate strategy in Venice could be tech's new standard

    Why Snapchat's unprecedented real estate strategy in Venice could be tech's new standard

    A tech start-up based in Los Angeles rather than Silicon Valley. A mobile app that built its appeal by deleting photos and messages. Vertical video in a widescreen world. Snapchat, the popular photo and video messaging app, has broken the mold in many ways. Now, with parent company Snap Inc.’s...

  • Universal Studios Hollywood raises gate ticket prices

    Universal Studios Hollywood raises gate ticket prices

    About a week after Disneyland raised its ticket prices, Universal Studios Hollywood hiked attendance prices an extra $5 per visitor. The daily ticket price at the gate rose to $120 from $115, on top of increases adopted last year of up to 20%. Universal Orlando also raised prices over the weekend...

  • Oscars red carpet:`The gravy train is over' for TV stations and networks

    Oscars red carpet:`The gravy train is over' for TV stations and networks

    A spot on the Oscars’ red carpet now comes with a price. For the first time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is charging a license fee to TV stations and networks that broadcast live shows with interviews of movie stars on the red carpet before Sunday’s 89th Academy Awards telecast....

  • Big new convention center hotel proposed for downtown L.A.

    Big new convention center hotel proposed for downtown L.A.

    A towering 1,024-room hotel will rise next to the Los Angeles Convention Center a few years from now if developer TriCal Construction Inc. gets its way. TriCal filed a development application with city officials Thursday to build a 53-story skyscraper across Figueroa Street from the convention...

  • U.S. stocks rally to set another record after slow start due to investor jitters

    U.S. stocks rally to set another record after slow start due to investor jitters

    A late push helped U.S. stocks finish higher Friday after indexes spent most of the day lower. There was far more selling than buying on Wall Street overall, but the Dow Jones industrial average managed to extend its winning streak to an 11th day and set another all-time high. Energy companies...

  • Lockheed will move 650 missile jobs away from Sunnyvale

    Lockheed will move 650 missile jobs away from Sunnyvale

    Lockheed Martin will move 650 jobs in the legendary Trident missile program from Sunnyvale, Calif., to other states, the defense contractor said Thursday. The affected employees work for the Fleet Ballistic Missile Program, which designs and engineers nuclear missiles for the nation's submarine...

  • L.A. Drives: Glamorous Bentley convertible deserves cushy cruise along Mulholland

    L.A. Drives: Glamorous Bentley convertible deserves cushy cruise along Mulholland

    The controversial engineer William Mulholland designed the Los Angeles Aqueduct, brought water south from the Owens Valley and turned a desert into a garden. His legacy gave us the plot of the movie “Chinatown,” a beautiful fountain in Los Feliz and a highway that runs across the ridge separating...

  • J.C. Penney to close 130 to 140 stores and offer early retirement to 6,000 workers

    J.C. Penney to close 130 to 140 stores and offer early retirement to 6,000 workers

    J.C. Penney said Friday it will be closing 130 to 140 stores as well as two distribution centers over the next several months as it aims to improve profitability in the era of online shopping. The closures represent 13% to 14% of the department store operator's current store count, and less than...

  • See a layoff through, or see yourself out?

    See a layoff through, or see yourself out?

    Question: My company has decided to close several of our branch offices this year. I'm an IT manager; my job and half of my team's jobs will be eliminated when our office closes in the fall. We've been offered severance, and some folks have been offered retention bonuses to stay until the bitter...

  • Jaguar F-Pace: A luxury SUV joins a crowded field

    Jaguar F-Pace: A luxury SUV joins a crowded field

    How I pity the luxury SUV shopper. The market is flooded with well-designed, well-built, upscale cars. Between the options offered by BMW, Audi, Lexus, Acura, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and others, every aspirational car company has a suitable SUV for sale. On the lower end, Volkswagen and Subaru are...

  • The red carpet isn’t actually red, and other secrets underfoot at the Oscars

    The red carpet isn’t actually red, and other secrets underfoot at the Oscars

    In Aeschylus’ play “Agamemnon,” the titular king’s homecoming from the Trojan War is marked by his vengeful wife Clytemnestra, who offers him a red carpet on which to walk. “Now my beloved, step down from your chariot, and let not your foot, my lord, touch the Earth,” she says. But Agamemnon is...

  • Oscar noms show rise in indie movies as studios pull back on adult dramas

    Oscar noms show rise in indie movies as studios pull back on adult dramas

    Oscar-winning producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman knew their movie “Lion” was a gamble when they took the script to Cannes in 2014. The first 30 minutes of dialogue was in Bengali and Hindi, the kind of thing that studios normally shy away from, and they had no cast attached.   “People were...

  • Google spinoff Waymo accuses Uber of self-driving car theft

    Google spinoff Waymo accuses Uber of self-driving car theft

    Waymo, a self-driving car company founded by Google, is colliding with ride-hailing service Uber in a court battle revolving around allegations of betrayal, high-tech espionage and greed. The brewing showdown emerged late Thursday in a lawsuit filed in a San Francisco federal court by Waymo, a...

  • Writers Guild of America prepares for potentially tense contract negotiations with major studios

    Writers Guild of America prepares for potentially tense contract negotiations with major studios

    The Writers Guild of America said it would begin formal contract negotiations next month, as writers look to sit down with studios, networks and independent producers to discuss TV and film compensation for the guild’s members. The union, whose east and west coast guilds have about 13,000 members,...

  • Disney cuts about 80 jobs in digital media unit that includes Maker Studios

    Disney cuts about 80 jobs in digital media unit that includes Maker Studios

    Walt Disney Co. is laying off about 80 employees in its digital media unit that includes Maker Studios, according to a person at the company not authorized to comment publicly. The layoffs affect people in various roles at Maker, the Culver City-based digital studio, including some in support positions....

  • Stocks end mixed as investors seek safety

    Stocks end mixed as investors seek safety

    Stocks wobbled Thursday as investors changed course and tempered their expectations for faster economic growth. Industrial companies, which have surged over the last few months, finished lower as Wall Street focused on gold, bonds and companies that pay big dividends. Construction equipment, transportation...

  • Ghosn steps aside as Nissan CEO to focus on 3-automaker alliance

    Ghosn steps aside as Nissan CEO to focus on 3-automaker alliance

    Carlos Ghosn, who leads the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance, is handing over the helm at Nissan Motor Co. to Hiroto Saikawa, a veteran Japanese executive at Nissan, but Ghosn is staying on as the automaker’s chairman. Saikawa will become chief executive at Nissan — based in Yokohama, Japan —...

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