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ANTITRUST IBM, Microsoft settle claims for $850 million Boston (AP)-International Business Machines Corp. will receive $775 million in cash and $75 million in credit for software from Microsoft Corp. to settle claims resulting from the government’s antitrust case against Microsoft in the 1990s. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, in ruling that Microsoft had engaged in anti-competitive practices, cited IBM as a company hurt by Microsoft’s “discriminatory treatment.” Microsoft charged IBM a higher price for its Windows operating system, and delayed IBM’s Windows 95 license until 15 minutes before the product was launched. IBM hadn’t sued Microsoft, but still pressed for retribution for the behavior cited by Jackson. CONSUMER PROTECTION Allstate to pay $30M to settle premiums dispute Los Angeles (AP)-Allstate Insurance Co. has agreed to pay an estimated $30 million to about 250,000 California customers to resolve a long-standing dispute with the state that the company had inflated its auto and home premiums. California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi claims that Allstate broke laws by partially basing its rates on consumer credit scores and by failing to give discounts. Allstate inflated rates in several ways, including using “financial stability ratings” that denied some customers “preferred” rates and failing to provide discounts to customers with both auto and home policies. Allstate also charged customers higher rates if they did not previously have renter’s insurance. FRAUD Ebbers forfeits his assets in WorldCom settlement New York (AP)-Former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers will pay $5 million and transfer nearly all his assets into a liquidation trust to settle civil charges related to the company’s accounting fraud. Federal prosecutors said that the trust, which would sell off Ebbers’ assets, would be worth up to $40 million. The settlement springs from a class action brought by investors against former WorldCom executives and board members, plus investment banks that underwrote WorldCom securities and auditing firm Arthur Andersen. NEGLIGENCE Family of electrocuted boy, 12, awarded $65M Miami (AP)-A Florida state jury awarded the family of a 12-year-old boy who was electrocuted at a bus stop shelter $65.1 million in a civil trial against the outdoor advertising company that built and wired the structure. Eller Media Co. must pay $4.1 million in compensatory damages and $61 million in punitive damages. Eller was cleared in 2001 of criminal charges. Phoenix-based Eller Media’s parent company is Clear Channel Communications Inc. REGULATORY ACTION British watchdog fines Citigroup $25.4 million London (AP)-Citigroup Inc. will pay a British regulatory agency $25.4 million for breaching standards of behavior in bond trades last year. The Financial Services Authority, which regulates the U.K. financial services industry, said that the penalty was related to a trading strategy last Aug. 2 in which London-based employees of Citigroup sold a large volume of European government bonds on 11 electronic trading platforms, causing prices to fall. They later bought back some of the bonds at a lower price, earning a profit of 9.9 million British pounds. SEX ABUSE Catholic diocese to pay $42M to alleged victims Sacramento, Calif. (AP)-Two Northern California Catholic dioceses have agreed to pay more than $42 million to settle 41 clergy sex-abuse claims, resulting in the dismissal of all but one lawsuit against the two organizations. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento agreed to pay $35 million to 33 victims just before a jury trial was set to begin in one of the cases. And the Diocese of Santa Rosa, Calif., announced it will pay $7.3 million to eight plaintiffs. SHAREHOLDER SUIT Qwest pays $50M to settle nonpayment suit Denver (AP)-Qwest Communications International Inc. has agreed to a $50 million settlement in a class action alleging that the company had improperly avoided paying a $273 million quarterly dividend to investors who held shares of U.S. West Inc. before the companies merged in 2000. New York City shareholder Adele Brody sued in 2000, claiming U S West had said in a June 5, 2000, announcement that shareholders of record as of June 30, 2000, would receive a dividend of 53.5 cents per share. Two days later, the company said the dividend would be payable to shareholders of record as of July 10-after the merger-and Qwest planned to slash the dividend to 5 cents per share, the lawsuit said. U. S. West stockholders as of the June 30, 2000, merger date will receive portions of about two-thirds of the $50 million settlement.

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