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Oracle Opens Legal Fight

Office Depot ousted chairman and chief executive Bruce Nelson, naming director Neil R. Austrian as interim chief executive. Nelson's strategy of targeting business customers by adding more technology products such as notebook computers failed to spur growth. Office Depot, which lost its top industry ranking three years ago to Staples, said it plans to find a permanent replacement for Nelson by early next year.

Bank United's bid to collect at least $100 million from the federal government for breaking a promise of special regulatory treatment during the 1980s savings and loan crisis was rejected by the Supreme Court. The justices, without comment, let stand an appeals court decision that Washington Mutual unit Bank United and investment firm Hyperion Partners deserve $4.9 million in damages. Bank United said it spent more than $100 million to adapt to 1989 rule changes that altered capital requirements for thrifts.


Margaret C. Whitman, chief executive of eBay, bumped Hewlett-Packard's Carly Fiorina out of the No. 1 spot on Fortune magazine's list of the most powerful women in business, the first time Fiorina hasn't been on top of the list since it was created in 1998. Rounding out the top five are the chief executives of Avon, Xerox and Citigroup's global consumer group. Oprah Winfrey is sixth. (Paul Sakuma -- AP)

_____Stock Quotes_____
Eastman Kodak Corp (EK)
Merrill Lynch & Co Inc (MER)
OFFICE DEPOT INC (ODP)
Oracle Corporation (ORCL)
PeopleSoft, Inc. (PSFT)
American International Group (AIG)
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD)
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO)
Sun Microsystems, Inc. (SUNW)
Honeywell International (HON)
Charles Schwab Corp. (SCH)
Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT)
MCI Inc (MCIP)
_____Interactive Primer_____
Understanding Regulatory Policy
_____Related SEC Articles_____
Ralph Kirk Eyster (The Washington Post, Oct 4, 2004)
Accusations of Accounting Mae-hem (The Washington Post, Oct 3, 2004)
Restatement Decision Deferred (The Washington Post, Sep 30, 2004)
More SEC News

Charles Schwab Corp. said that its brokerage arm will lower retail equity trade commissions and that the pricing changes may reduce revenue for the next year while enhancing its competitive position.

A federal judge in California ruled in favor of two Swarthmore College students who sued Diebold for falsely accusing them of violating copyright laws by posting information on the Internet about possible flaws in its touch-screen voting machines. Security concerns and operational flaws led to a ban on the use of some machines in parts of California and Ohio during the November elections. The judge has not yet set damages.

Gasoline prices rose for the third straight week to reach a national retail average of $1.94 per gallon of regular-grade unleaded, the Energy Department said. That is up 2.1 cents from the week before and 36.5 cents from the same period last year. The highest prices, as usual, were on the West Coast, at $2.15 per gallon. The lowest were on the Gulf Coast, at $1.84 a gallon.

LOCAL BUSINESS

WorldCom employees who lost tens of millions of dollars from their 401(k) retirement plans when the company collapsed may proceed as a class against the former plan trustee, Merrill Lynch, a U.S. judge ruled.

Lockheed Martin said the Postal Service selected a team led by the company to provide managed network services across its 37,000 locations under a contract worth up to $3 billion that will cover six years and includes four three-year options.

Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers.


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