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Consumer Confidential: Playboy going private, U.S. goes to China, workers go job hunting

Hefpic Here's your move-it-move-it Monday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--The publisher of Playboy says it has agreed to a sweetened offer by founder Hugh Hefner to take the company private. The price of $6.15 a share is an 18% premium over Friday's closing price and values the company at about $207 million. A group led by Penthouse magazine has also made an offer for Playboy Enterprises valued at $210 million. But newly engaged Hefner is Playboy's largest shareholder, with about 70% of the company's voting shares and 28% of nonvoting stock. The Internet has made things tough for those in the naked-lady business. In November, Playboy reported a wider third-quarter loss than a year ago as its revenue fell 7% to $52.1 million. Maybe Hefner has a plan to turn things around.

--Uncle Sam wants a closer look at Chinese-made products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission will set up its first office outside the United States in China in a bid to reduce the amount of dangerous products reaching the American market. Commission head Inez Tenenbaum says the "history-making" office also aims to make it easier for Washington to raise concerns with Beijing about product safety problems, such as faulty drywall and toxic metals in toys. She says choosing China as the commission's first overseas location made sense because 45% of the consumer products and 90% of all toys sold in the United States come from China and Hong Kong.

--And this just in: The online jobs site Monster.com says its new survey finds that an overwhelming 98% American workers are dissatisfied with their  jobs and plan to seek new opportunities this year. The site recently asked job-seekers about their plans for 2011 and found that an only 2% of workers indicated they're completely satisfied with their current positions and salaries. (Note to editor: I'm one of that happy 2% -- honest!)

-- David Lazarus

Photo: Playboy founder Hugh Hefner with a business associate in 1960. Credit: Playboy

 

 
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