Texas Business Report: Prison Phone Calls Break the Bank

Thanks to a near monopoly on inmate calling services. Plus: shipping strikes, SeaWorld’s IPO, and stalled stem cell therapy.
Sat January 5, 2013 4:50 am
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The Texas economy is one of the most robust in the world. Wildly profitable companies and ingenious entrepreneurs call this state home, and what happens here influences businesses around the nation. Here’s a slice of the profits, losses, big deals, and backroom decisions happening across Texas this week.

Shipping Wars
Houston dockworkers continued to work through the first week of the year after their union reached an agreement with shipping companies that avoided a nationwide strike. As a result of the temporary deal, which only extends the existing contract until Feb. 6, the International Longshoremen’s Association cancelled plans to begin a strike on Sunday that would have halted container shipments at 14 ports on the East and Gulf Coasts—including the Port of Houston—the New York Times reports.

If a new agreement is not reached by the February deadline, Houston-area companies that transport shipped goods could lose customers to West Coast ports, according to The Houston Business Journal.

The Bottom Line: At the center of the dispute is the future of container royalty payments, an arrangement

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