Friday, September 3, 2010 myBiz Blog
MarketWatch 9.7.10 by Katie Coon

Each week check out the MarketWatch feature on myBiz.  We will report on facets of the economy to keep you informed and prepared for the internship and full-time job markets.

BP Says Cost of Spill has Hit $8 million

Oil major BP PLC said Friday it has spent around $8 billion to date in response to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and expects to resume its relief-well drilling shortly. The sum includes the cost of the spill response; containment; relief-well drilling; the "static kill" operation of providing mud and cementing; grants to the Gulf states; compensation claims paid; and federal costs. BP faces a huge challenge in raising funds in the wake of the environmental disaster. The oil major plans to raise $30 billion from asset sales to help meet the cost of the spill. So far it has raised just shy of $10 billion from asset sales, a company spokesman said.

A New Digital Battlefield: TV Episodes Online

TV shows are emerging as a new front in the war over digital media between Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc., amid their ongoing battles over electronic books and online music.  Hours after Apple said Wednesday that it would begin renting some shows for 99 cents per episode, Amazon cut its price on a similar set of shows to 99 cents from $2.99. And unlike Apple, which rents the videos, Amazon lets its customers buy the shows.  A price battle between the tech titans could help drive consumer interest in the nascent market for paid on-demand video over the Internet. But it could also drive away the media giants that Apple and Amazon are counting on to feed them with TV content. Some media executives worry low prices could eventually undermine the existing TV business.  The entire business of selling episodes of TV shows through services like Apple's and Amazon's is expected to generate only $407 million in 2010, according to Screen Digest. Meanwhile, U.S. consumers and advertisers will spend about $143 billion on traditional TV advertising and subscriptions in 2010, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

TPG Sells Stake in Ping An Insurance for $1.16 Billion

Private-equity firm TPG Inc. has sold its remaining stake in Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd. for $1.16 billion, a person familiar with the situation said Friday, in the latest example of how the U.S. company is reaping sizable profits by exiting some of its investments in Asia.  The stake sale, which follows an earlier deal in which TPG sold more than half its stake in Ping An, gives TPG a return of around 16 times on its acquisition of a 17% stake in midsize Chinese lender Shenzhen Development Bank Co. six years ago for $150 million.