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ANTITRUST $28.8M transparent tape settlement is approved PHILADELPHIA-A Pennsylvania federal judge has granted final approval of a $28.8 million settlement-and an attorney fees award of $7.5 million-in an antitrust class action against office supply firm 3M Co. Lawyers say that another large class action settlement by 3M is in the final stages of negotiations. The pair of class actions stem from a prior suit, involving LePage’s Inc., which resulted in a $68 million verdict in 1999 and a finding that 3M had set out to monopolize the market for transparent tape. Retailers responded by filing two class actions against 3M. Court records show that the settlement amount was calculated at about 2% of the total amount paid to 3M by the retailers for invisible and transparent tape between October 1998 and the date of the settlement. - ALM CLASS ACTION Freddie Mac to settle ERISA suit for $4.65M WASHINGTON (AP)-Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance company, said that it has agreed to pay $4.65 million to settle a class action related to both its employee 401(k) plan and its accounting scandal. The lawsuit alleged that the company had violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the people running the Thrift/401(k) savings plan failed to give complete and accurate information to participants in the program and failed to manage the fund properly. Oil firm to pay $32M to settle royalties claims DALLAS (AP)-Pioneer Natural Resources Co., an oil and gas exploration company, has agreed to pay $32 million in cash to settle a lawsuit brought by royalty holders who claimed that the company had improperly calculated payments on production at its Hugoton, Kan., field. Pioneer said the payments will be made on claims for production on or before Dec. 31, 2005. PATENTS Apple to pay $100M to settle infringement suit SAN FRANCISCO (AP)-Apple Computer Inc. will pay $100 million to rival Creative Technology Ltd. to settle patent lawsuits over technology for navigating through songs on the popular iPod digital music player, the companies announced. The settlement allows Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple to recoup a portion of its payment if other electronics companies license Creative’s technology. In June, the U.S. International Trade Commission agreed to investigate whether Apple’s iPod infringes on one of Creative’s patents. Singapore-based Creative alleged that iPods infringed on its patent for a navigation system used to organize and access music on its Zen media players. REGULATORY ACTION Pipeline companies to pay $2.8M over oil spills FRANKFORT, KY. (AP)-Pipeline companies have agreed to pay $2.8 million in penalties after separate crude oil spills last year polluted portions of two rivers in Kentucky and a lake in Louisiana. The agreement settles claims by state and federal regulators against Mid-Valley Pipeline Co., Sunoco Pipeline L.P. and Sun Pipe Line Co. A pipeline owned by Mid-Valley, and operated by Sunoco, ruptured on Jan. 26, 2005, releasing 262,542 gallons of oil into a 16-mile stretch of the Kentucky River in Owen and Carroll counties. The crude eventually entered the Ohio River. SHAREHOLDER SUIT DaimlerChrysler settles merger claims for $295M FRANKFURT, GERMANY (AP)-A German state court in Stuttgart has ruled that DaimlerChrysler A.G. must pay about $295 million to former shareholders of Daimler-Benz A.G. to settle a case related to its 1998 merger with Chrysler Corp. The automaker must pay a group of investors 22.15 euros ($28.42) per share, or a total of 230 million euros, to resolve the dispute over the valuation of their stock. During the 1998 merger, 1.8% of Daimler-Benz shares were exchanged involuntarily for shares in the merged company. Some shareholders claimed that the exchange ratio used undervalued their shares, and they launched court proceedings in 1999. WRONGFUL DEATH Man’s community service death yields $5.1M award ATLANTA (AP)-A Georgia state jury has ordered DeKalb County to pay $5.1 million to the family of a man who died after falling from a county trash truck while performing court-ordered community service. Vince Currid died on Oct. 22, 1999, about a month after he hit his head in a fall from the truck. He was a senior at Emory University who had been placed on probation and ordered to do community service for drunken driving. According to the family’s lawsuit, Currid had received no training or proper equipment and was placed on the back of the truck, where no one was supposed to stand if the truck’s speed exceeded 10 mph. The family claimed the truck was going faster than that when he lost his grip.

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