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BREACH OF CONTRACT U.S. video firm must pay $2.8B to Hong Kong firm SAN JOSE, CALIF. (AP)-A California state judge has awarded Hong Kong conglomerate New World TMT Ltd. a $2.8 billion judgment against an American video technology company after finding that the company’s founder gave false testimony in depositions and failed to appear for court-ordered proceedings. New World had accused PrediWave Corp. founder Jianping Qu, PrediWave and its affiliated companies of defrauding it of about $700 million. The four-year partnership began to unravel in 2004 after PrediWave delivered set-top boxes that did not work. The decision included $2 billion in punitive damages. New World TMT is a unit of New World Development Co. Ltd. CONSUMER PROTECTION FTC fines marketers of weight loss pills $25M WASHINGTON (AP)-The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has fined the marketers of four weight loss pills $25 million for making false advertising claims ranging from rapid weight loss to reduction of the risk of cancer. The FTC said that the products would remain on store shelves, but the companies would have to stop making the false claims. Fines were levied against marketers of Xenadrine EFX, One A Day Weight Smart, CortiSlim and TrimSpa. The largest fine was levied against two marketers of Xenadrine EFX, made by Nutraquest Inc., formerly known as Cytodyne Technologies. The marketers will pay at least $8 million and as much as $12.8 million. The FTC investigation found that the marketers of Xenadrine had a study that said those who took a placebo actually lost more weight than those taking the pill. Some of the products were marketed through infomercials or celebrity endorsements. PRICE-FIXING Auto paint makers settle class action, pay $39M PHILADELPHIA-A Pennsylvania federal judge has granted preliminary approval to two settlements totaling $39 million in an antitrust class action against the manufacturers of automotive refinishing paint. The suit had charged the manufacturers with participating in a price-fixing conspiracy. Sherwin-Williams Co. has agreed to pay $16 million and PPG Industries Inc. $23 million. The total recovery in the case is more than $105 million. The plaintiffs, mostly auto repair shops, had claimed that the paint manufacturers conducted secret meetings in Europe in which they agreed to fix the prices of refinishing paints. The suit alleged that during the 1990s, the prices of auto refinishing paints continued to rise despite a drop in the prices of crude oil and natural gas-the principal raw materials used to manufacture refinishing paints. - ALM REGULATORY ACTION MetLife will pay $19M to end bid-rigging probe ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)-MetLife Inc., the giant group life insurer, will pay $19 million and change some of its business practices to end an investigation of payments made to brokers to steer clients its way, outgoing New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has announced. The settlement is part of a multiyear investigation of bid rigging and price-fixing in the insurance industry. Spitzer argued that “contingent commissions” paid to brokers and agents to steer business to insurance companies are the equivalent of kickbacks that unfairly increase the prices paid by insurance clients. SHAREHOLDER SUIT Firm pays $7.8M to settle financial restatement suit GREENWOOD, COLO. (AP)-Software company Quovadx Inc. has said that it will pay $7.8 million to settle the last of three legacy shareholder lawsuits stemming from its 2004 restatement of financial results. Quovadx signed a memorandum of understanding that includes a payment of $7.8 million into a settlement fund by Jan. 15 in exchange for a release with prejudice of all claims that were or could have been made against the company and certain individual defendants. The claims related to the acquisition of Quovadx stock in connection with its December 2003 exchange offer for Rogue Wave Software Inc. TORTS Sony pays $4.25M over its anti-piracy software LOS ANGELES (AP)-Sony BMG Music Entertainment will pay $4.25 million as part of a settlement with 39 states to resolve investigations into problems caused by music compact discs loaded with hidden anti-piracy software. Under the terms of the agreement, the record company will reimburse consumers whose computers were damaged while trying to uninstall the anti-piracy software. Sony BMG also said it will no longer distribute any CDs loaded with copy-protection software that hinders computer users from easily locating or removing it. The agreement covers CDs loaded with one of two types of copy-protection software-MediaMax, introduced in August 2003, or XCP, introduced in January 2005.

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