Charter to pay back some N.Y. customers

In what regulators are calling the largest refund in U.S. history to consumers from an Internet provider, Charter Communications has agreed to give $62.5 million — and free subscriptions to HBO or Showtime — to New York customers who allegedly didn’t receive the Internet speeds they were promised, according to New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood.

The settlement puts an end to a months-long legal battle between the state of New York and the cable company, whose subsidiary Time Warner Cable was accused of providing slow routers and modems to customers that prevented them from accessing the download speeds they had signed up for.

Up to 700,000 New Yorkers will be receiving the direct refunds. An additional 2.2 million will be eligible for the free premium and streaming channels, Underwood’s office said.

“This settlement should serve as a wake-up call to any company serving New York consumers: Fulfill your promises, or pay the price,” Underwood said.

“We are pleased to have reached a settlement . . . on the issue of certain Time Warner Cable advertising practices in New York prior to our merger, and to have put this litigation behind us,” Charter said.

— Brian Fung

Former union official sentenced to 1 year

A former United Auto Workers official convicted of accepting bribes from Fiat Chrysler executives was sentenced Tuesday to a year in prison.

The U.S. attorney’s office said a federal judge in Detroit also ordered Nancy Johnson to pay a $10,000 fine. Johnson pleaded guilty in July to violating the Labor Management Relations Act. She served on a 2015 UAW negotiating committee.

She and others were charged in a scheme to strip millions from a Detroit worker training center financed by Fiat Chrysler. The leader, former auto executive Al Iacobelli, was sentenced in August to 5½ years in federal prison.

The government said Johnson spent $1,100 on a pair of shoes and $1,200 for spa services.

— Associated Press

Construction fell for single-family homes

Developers broke ground on more U.S. homes last month, but the increase occurred entirely in apartments. The construction of new single-family houses fell.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that housing starts rose 3.2 percent in November from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.26 million. That is 3.6 percent below a year ago. Single-family starts dropped 4.6 percent in November and are down 13.1 percent from a year earlier.

Home building jumped 15.1 percent last month in the South in the aftermath of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Home construction fell 14.2 percent in the West, possibly because of wildfires in California.

— Associated Press

Also in Business

Uber received approval from Pennsylvania to resume self-driving-car testing on roads this week, state records show, nine months after the firm suspended the program following a deadly accident in Arizona. A company spokeswoman said Tuesday that Uber has not yet resumed testing. Uber said last month that when it resumed testing, it would do so with two employees in the front seat, enable an automatic braking system at all times and more strictly monitor safety employees.

Nuro and grocery chain Kroger are teaming up to bring unmanned delivery service to customers. The companies said Tuesday that Nuro's unmanned vehicle, the R1, will be added to a fleet of autonomous Prius vehicles that have run self-driving grocery delivery service in Scottsdale, Ariz., with vehicle operators since August. The R1 can travel on public roads and has no driver or passengers. It transports only goods.

FedEx on Tuesday lowered its 2019 forecast, sending shares down 4.4 percent in after-hours trading. FedEx cut its fiscal 2019 earnings forecast to $15.50 to $16.60 per share. It previously forecast earnings of $17.20 to $17.80 per share. "While the U.S. economy remains solid, our international business weakened during the quarter, especially in Europe," FedEx chief executive, said in a statement. FedEx said it is offering voluntary buyouts to certain employees, reducing international capacity at FedEx Express, limiting hiring and cutting discretionary spending.

— From news reports


8:30 a.m.: Commerce Department releases current account trade deficit for the third quarter.

10 a.m.: National Association of Realtors releases existing-home sales for November.

2 p.m.: Federal Reserve policymakers release a statement on interest rates.