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CLASS ACTION ADM to pay $400M to settle price-fixing suit Decatur, Ill. (AP)-Archer Daniels Midland Co. will pay $400 million to settle a federal antitrust lawsuit that claimed the company conspired to fix the price of high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener used in products ranging from soft drinks to pasta sauces. “We are pleased to have reached a resolution with our customers in the food and beverage industries,” G. Allen Andreas, chairman and CEO of Decatur-based ADM, said in a June 17 statement. The settlement is subject to approval by the U.S. district court in Peoria, Ill. The class action was filed in 1995 by about 20 corn syrup buyers, who alleged that ADM’s actions cost them $1.6 billion. Plaintiffs included the Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo. The case had been scheduled for a September jury trial and ADM could have faced damages of nearly $5 billion, as jurors could have tripled any award if they found the company responsible. Payment processor class action settles for $9.3M San Jose, Calif. (AP)-Online payment processor PayPal Inc. agreed to pay $9.3 million to settle a class action filed in 2002 alleging that it did not disclose certain information about transactions and did not properly process transaction limits users had placed on their accounts. PayPal said that, pending court approval of the settlement, all claims brought against the company will be dismissed, as well as a similar lawsuit filed against eBay Inc., PayPal’s parent company. The class includes certain users who held PayPal accounts between Oct. 1, 1999, and Jan. 31, 2004, excluding users residing in the European Union. INSIDER TRADING $25 million settlement approved in Qwest suits Denver (AP)-A state judge approved a $25 million deal on June 15 that settles five shareholder suits accusing Qwest Communications and former executives, including Joe Nacchio and billionaire Philip Anschutz, of insider trading. The settlement will require Qwest to appoint a committee of independent directors to consider separating the roles of chairman and chief executive. The plaintiffs’ attorneys said a review of more than 6 million documents, congressional testimony and other research turned up no evidence of improper activity by former CEO Nacchio, Qwest founder Anschutz or other defendants. Representatives of Qwest and Anschutz were pleased with the settlement. Nacchio’s spokeswoman said he could not be reached for comment. The lawsuits accused 16 former and current executives and directors, including Nacchio and Anschutz, of earning millions by misusing nonpublic information to profit from insider trading in the stock of Qwest and other companies. The lead lawsuit was filed in 2002 in a Denver district court by shareholder Thomas Strauss on behalf of the company. REAL PROPERTY City that seized land is told to pay out $42M Solana Beach, Calif. (AP)-Land seized by the Solana Beach School District through eminent domain is worth millions more than planners estimated, according to a jury that ordered the district to pay about $42 million for the site. The district had estimated the 10-acre property’s value at $24.1 million while developer Pardee Homes, which had planned to build condominiums or apartments on the property, believed the site to be worth $48 million. The district is currently building an elementary school on the property. School board members will consider whether to appeal the verdict and how to cope with its financial ramifications. The district’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts on July 1 was expected to be about $20 million. TRIBAL LANDS Quarter-billion deal reached with New York Albany, N.Y. (AP)-New York state will pay the Cayuga Indian Nation of New York $247.9 million over 14 years and let the tribe run a Catskills casino in a nonbinding agreement to end a land claim. Under the agreement announced on June 10, the Cayugas could acquire and exercise sovereignty over a total of 10,000 acres in the 64,015-acre land claim area in Cayuga and Seneca counties. In return, the tribe would enter into a tax parity agreement for all sales of alcohol, cigarettes, gasoline and other products sold to non-Indians. Governor George Pataki called the deal with the tribe an important first step toward achieving a binding settlement. The memo of understanding signed by Pataki and Nation Representative Timothy Twoguns did not include the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma. The tribe, whose members trace their ancestors to the New York tribe, is also a party to the land claim. Officials in Seneca and Cayuga counties and the federal government also must agree to the plan. “This settlement will enable the Cayuga people to establish itself in its traditional lands, which it lost more than 200 years ago,” Twoguns said. “It will also provide us with damages for our long displacement, and financial security.”

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