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After eight years of litigation, the Coca-Cola Co. will pay $137.5 million in cash to settle a securities fraud suit brought in 2000 by Coke shareholders.

The proposed settlement says the company will pay shareholders who bought Coke common stock between Oct. 21, 1999, and March 6, 2000, or sold Coke stock between Dec. 6, 2000, and April 6, 2000, an estimated average of 53 cents a share, according to the settlement notice filed July 3 in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.

The suit alleged that former Coke executives in the late 1990s engaged in a massive securities fraud based on a practice known as “channel-stuffing.”

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