San Diego Business Journal

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Vik Jolly

As the eyes of the tech world turned to U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s courtroom in San Diego last week with Qualcomm Inc. and Apple Inc. facing off in an antitrust battle with billions of dollars and Qualcomm’s licensing business at stake, the not-so-unexpected announcement finally came.

The tech giants had hammered out a deal that ended all litigation worldwide.

Curiel dismissed the jury which had listened to opening statements.

The media and other court observers — audio and video was set up in an overflow courtroom for the trial that was expected to last five weeks — packed up. And just like that, Qualcomm and Apple had done what was in the companies’ best interest: Stop dueling in courts and once again work with each other to thrive.

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An initiative to expand the San Diego Convention Center by raising hotel taxes is back on the ballot. Eight months earlier than it might have gone before the voters but none too soon.

Money from the tax increase would also go toward homeless services and road repairs in addition to a needed convention center expansion. The San Diego City Council voted last week to place the initiative on the ballot alongside the California presidential primary in March 2020.

You will recall the initiative qualified for the ballot after initially failing in a preliminary count of signatures last year. By the time a full count of petition signatures was completed it was too late to make the November 2018 ballot.

The initiative would raise the 12.5 percent hotel room tax by a range of 1.25 percent to 3.25 percent, with the rate highest for hotels closest to the convention center and lower for those farther away. The base tax rate is 10.5 percent with 2 percent added for hotels of 70 rooms or more.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that $1.8 billion for homelessness programs would be generated.

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San Diego State University President Adela de la Torre said at her inauguration earlier this month that to succeed you must “cultivate a culture of curiosity, courage and compassion.”

With her inauguration, she formally took the reins of SDSU as the first woman and Latina to lead the roughly 35,000 student school.

“To all the women who paved the way and continue to do so, I tip my hat and applaud you,” she told those in the audience during an April 11 ceremony at Viejas Arena.

De la Torre mentioned the innovation district SDSU plans in Mission Valley where SDCCU Stadium now stands. Voters last November endorsed SDSU’s vision for the college’s expansion that will also include a new stadium for the Aztecs.