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Today in business: 5 things you need to know
Adidas sells out of Boston tribute tees, eBay lobbies against online sales tax, and more in our roundup of the business stories that are making news and driving opinion
 
Ebay is urging customers to help them fight lawmakers on internet sales tax.
Ebay is urging customers to help them fight lawmakers on internet sales tax. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

1. EBAY TAKES OVER FIGHT ON INTERNET SALES TAX
Recently eBay's chief executive John Donahoe sent an email to tens of millions of eBay merchants, requesting they write their representatives in Washington to express their opposition to a piece of legislation which would allow states to collect tax on internet purchases. Arguing that eBay merchants shouldn't receive the same treatment as a multibillion dollar retailer like Amazon, he wrote "[The Marketplace Fairness Act] may harm your ability to grow and costs jobs, including yours." Currently, companies with less than $1 million in out-of-state revenue would be exempt from changes. Donahoe wants Washington to compromise by defining a small business as making less than $10 million in out-of-state sales or having fewer than 50 employees. [New York Times]
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2. NETFLIX SHARES TAKE OFF
After announcing on Monday that it has added more than 2 million new U.S. streaming customers, Netflix shares shot up nearly 25 percent, exceeding $216 on Tuesday. The jump is a huge turn-around for the company, which just last September logged a 52-week low of $53.80. Netflix also posted a profit of $2.7 million, contrasted with a loss of $4.6 million this quarter last year. With subscriptions up to 28.7 million, by one measure Netflix now has more subscribers than competitor HBO. [USA Today]
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3. ADIDAS SELLS OUT OF BOSTON MARATHON TRIBUTE T-SHIRTS
Adidas, the Boston Marathon's official apparel supplier, says that it can't keep up with demand for the tribute T-shirts they released after last week's attacks. The shirts read "Boston stands as one," and sell for $26.20 (mirroring the 26.2 miles in a marathon). All proceeds go to One Fund Boston, a charity created for the victims of the bombings and their families. "Efforts are being made to restock so that together we can continue to help those affected by the tragic events in Boston," said a spokesperson. [Businessweek]
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4. NEW STARTUP LETS YOU INVEST IN HUMAN POTENTIAL
A new company called Upstart, which lets you invest in the future earnings of college grads, has attracted $5.9 million in funding from Google executive Eric Schmidt and Founder Fund executive Peter Thiel, among others. How Upstart works: Investors and borrowers sign a 10- to 15-year contract, and if the borrower is successful, the investor earns a return on their investment. If the borrower earns less than $30,000 per year for the length of the contract, however, the lender sees nothing. Much of the new capital will allow Upstart to take on legal hurdles. [Forbes]
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5. RADIOSHACK HAS ANOTHER ROUGH QUARTER
RadioShack reported an even larger than expected loss in the first quarter, as sales fell 7 percent to $849 million. Customers are buying fewer wireless phone contracts and more smartphones which are less profitable, and the once-thriving company continues to struggle with image problems. "I know we have some gaps and improvements that need to take place," CEO Joseph Magnacca told reporters. A BB&T Capital Markets analyst tells Yahoo News, "We are starting to suspect this could be a case of 'too little, too late.'" [Yahoo News]

 
Carmel Lobello is the business editor at TheWeek.com. Previously, she was an editor at DeathandTaxesMag.com.

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