Business Briefs: Gas cost here inches down

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Gas cost here inches down

The cost of gasoline in Pittsburgh was down slightly this week. The average price for a gallon in the city was $3.808, down three-tenths of a cent from last week. The cost for a comparable gallon nationwide was $3.671, down from $3.703 last week, according to

BNY CEO's pay rose 12%

Bank of New York Mellon chairman and CEO Gerald Hassell saw his total compensation rise 12 percent last year to $13.81 million, up from $12.35 million the previous year, according to the company's annual proxy statement. The New York-based bank, which has held its annual shareholders meeting in Pittsburgh the last three years, will hold the meeting in New York City this year on April 9.

Water has led consumption

Even though a judge on Monday invalidated New York City's plan to ban large sugary drinks from restaurants and other eateries, one day before the new law was to take effect, one thing is clear: Soda's run as the nation's beverage of choice has fizzled. In its place? Plain old water. For more than two decades, soda was the No. 1 drink in the U.S. with consumption peaking in 1998 at 54 gallons a year, according industry tracker Beverage Digest. Americans drank just 42 gallons a year of water at the time. Americans now drink an average of 44 gallons of soda and 58 gallons of water a year. Bottled water has led that growth, with consumption nearly doubling to 21 gallons a year.

Icahn gets access to Dell files

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who is fighting Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell's plan to take the struggling company private, has entered a confidentiality agreement that would give him access to the computer maker's financial records. Michael Dell, who is also Dell's CEO, is planning a $24.4 billion buyout that would make the Round Rock, Texas, company a privately-owned business. But some investors say the price of $13.65 per share is too low.

Illinois settles fraud charge

The the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday that Illinois has agreed to settle a securities-fraud charge that accused the state of misleading investors about the financial health of its public-employee pension systems, which are now $96.7 billion short of what's needed to cover promised retirement benefits. Gov. Pat Quinn's administration admitted no wrongdoing in the way state officials borrowed money to pay pension obligations through $2.2 billion in municipal bond sales from 2005 to early 2009.

RIM to launch new phone

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion will launch its new touchscreen smartphone in the U.S. with AT&T on March 22. AT&T said Monday that the Z10 will be available for $199.99 with a two-year contract. Sales of the device began in the U.K. and Canada shortly after RIM unveiled the phone in late January.

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