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Briefs

Cheap gas, food push prices down

Tsuya

The prices U.S. companies receive for their goods and services fell in May, offering evidence that inflation is mild.

The producer price index, which measures the cost of goods and services before they reach the consumer, dropped 0.2 percent last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The decline was driven lower by cheaper food and gas, and follows two months of strong gains that had suggested inflation might be perking up after being dormant for two years.

In the past 12 months, producer prices have risen 2 percent, matching the Federal Reserve’s inflation target. That’s down from an annual gain of 2.1 percent in April.

“The underlying details of the report suggest that producer price inflation is still fairly contained despite the big increases in the last few months,” Omair Sharif, an economist at RBS Securities, said in a research note.

P.F. Chang’s confirms credit, debit breach

P.F. Chang’s confirmed Friday that data from credit and debit cards used at its restaurants was stolen.

The company learned about the security breach on Tuesday from the U.S. Secret Service and began investigating the breach with the agency and a team of forensics experts. While it knows that customers were exposed, it doesn’t know how many, when it happened or which restaurants were affected.

The company is working with credit card companies to determine which cards may have been affected.

All P.F. Chang’s restaurants are now using manual credit card imprinting devices to process card payments while the investigation continues.

Bridgestone becomes Olympics sponsor

Japanese tire manufacturer Bridgestone signed on as a top-tier global Olympic sponsor Friday in a 10-year deal that will cover the 2020 Tokyo Games and provide further long-term financial security to the IOC.

Bridgestone officials declined to reveal financial terms, but the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported that Bridgestone will pay $344 million to become a worldwide sponsor under the International Olympic Committee’s global commercial program, known as TOP.

The deal runs from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and covers the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the 2020 Tokyo Games and the 2022 Winter Games and 2024 Summer Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach was in Tokyo to sign the agreement with Bridgestone CEO and chairman Masaaki Tsuya.

“We are delighted to welcome the company to the TOP program and excited for the long-term commitment they have shown to the Olympic movement,” Bach said.

Legal cover sought in bid for Botox maker

Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, seeking legal cover in its $53 billion takeover bid for Allergan, filed a lawsuit to confirm that its push for a special meeting of shareholders won’t trigger a defensive “poison pill” plan from the Botox maker.

A Pershing affiliate filed the lawsuit with the Delaware Court of Chancery, it said, to remove any concern shareholders might have in participating in the special meeting.

Allergan adopted a shareholder rights plan after Pershing teamed with Valeant Pharmaceuticals in its takeover bid for the pharmaceutical.

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