Facebook said to decide against Thursday night NFL bid

Facebook, which has spent the last two years buying live sports rights to stream on its social network, is not bidding for the National Football League’s Thursday night package, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The NFL invited bids for its 2018 Thursday games late last year, and is expected to decide before the end of February. Though the rights to its more popular Sunday and Monday games are locked up into the next decade, the league has been using one- and two-year deals for its Thursday games to experiment with different partners and platforms.

Facebook has bid for NFL’s Thursday games in the past, according to the person. The streaming rights for the 2017 package went for $50 million to Amazon. The company hasn’t said whether it will bid again.

The social network hasn’t shied away from expensive sports rights, and its lack of interest in the NFL Thursday package doesn’t indicate that it’s backing off, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The company has streamed live Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, college football and European soccer games in the past two years. It offered $600 million for the rights to an Indian cricket league, losing out to Fox, and has been boosting its budget for content, including live sports and original shows.

Willem Suyderhoud, a Facebook spokesman, declined to comment. The NFL did not respond to a request for comment.

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If you pay by the month, Amazon Prime fees are going up

If you subscribe to Amazon Prime on a monthly basis, get ready to pay more for the convenience of two-day delivery and watching programs like the new sci-fi anthology series “Electric Dreams.”

Amazon said Friday it is raising the fee on the pay-by-the-month version of Prime from $10.99 to $12.99 a month. With that increase, someone who subscribes to Prime on a month-to-month plan will soon pay $155.99 a year, or $24 more a year just to avoid paying $99 all at once for an annual Prime subscription.

By paying once, you get the same benefits of the pay-as-you-go option, but for almost $57 less annually than you would by shelling out $12.99 a month.

Amazon added the one-month-at-a-time Prime subscription option in 2014 at the same time it raised its traditional Prime fee by $20 a year, to $99.

Amazon also said it would raise the price of its monthly Prime option for qualified students, who will see their fees go to $6.49 a month from $5.49. Students can get a discount on an annual Prime membership by paying $49 a year. That fee isn’t increasing, nor is a standalone Prime Video subscription rate of $8.99 a month.

The new fee structures go into effect immediately for new, monthly Prime members. Those who have been paying $10.99 a month up to now have until Feb. 18 to place all the orders they want before their subscription fees increase.

Amazon Prime, with its free, two-day delivery service on nearly everything that Amazon sells, as well as unlimited streaming of TV shows and movies via Prime Video, has been one of Amazon’s most-successful e-commerce options in the company’s history. However, Amazon has never disclosed how many Prime subscribers it has. T

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Council: No pot for sale yet in Milpitas

Go ahead and toke up. But hold off on setting up shop.

The Milpitas City Council voted on Tuesday to extend yet again a ban on all commercial marijuana activity, which includes the establishment of dispensaries and farms.

The emergency ordinance does not mean pot shops will never come to Milpitas, however. Council has formed a committee to explore its options and has decided it needs more time and public input before deciding what future, if any, marijuana has in the city.

If the city chooses to impose a tax on sales of marijuana, it would need voter approval. The city has until mid-August to get that on the November ballot. Under the new emergency ordinance, Council will have until Jan. 17, 2019 to make a final decision on its marijuana policy.

Council had previously imposed a moratorium on cannabis businesses in 2017 after California legalized recreational marijuana use. Before that, the city had imposed a ban on marijuana activity in response to the state easing restrictions specifically of medical marijuana.

Councilman Garry Barbadillo made it known Tuesday that he wouldn’t vote for any proposal that would allow for retail or outdoor cultivation.

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“I don’t want marijuana in Milpitas, and that’s my stand, period,” he said.

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Santa Clara County powers to big job gains, California jobless rate hits record low

Santa Clara County’s booming economy produced 6,500 new jobs during December, adding to a robust month of hiring in California, which posted a record-low jobless rate of 4.3 percent and a gain of nearly 53,000 new jobs statewide, labor officials reported Friday.

The San Francisco-San Mateo region added 1,000 jobs during December. The East Bay, however, lost 1,000 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the state’s Employment Development Department.

During 2017, California added 342,500 jobs, an increase of 2.1 percent in total payroll jobs, the EDD figures show.

Over the same 12-month period, Santa Clara County added 22,000 jobs, or a 2 percent increase in job totals.

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