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Aon Settles Bid-Rigging Case

Saturday, March 5, 2005; Page E02

Aon agreed to pay $190 million and adopt reforms to end an insurance-bid-rigging investigation by New York, Illinois and Connecticut. Aon will pay the money over three years for restitution to policyholders. Chief executive Patrick G. Ryan acknowledged that Aon "and other insurance brokers and consultants" used contingent agreements with insurance companies that created conflicts of interest.

FDA Seizes Paxil CR, Avandamet

The Food and Drug Administration seized two types of drugs from three GlaxoSmithKline facilities. The FDA found that the company failed to meet manufacturing standards when producing Avandamet, which treats type 2 diabetes, and the antidepressant Paxil CR. The FDA said the drugs do not pose significant health risks and did not recommend that patients stop taking them, but the agency wanted to stop distribution until the problems are corrected.

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Blockbuster gave antitrust enforcers inaccurate price information and should be forced to delay its $883 million hostile bid to take over video-rental rival Hollywood Entertainment, the Federal Trade Commission said. The action could lead to Hollywood's takeover by Movie Gallery, which Hollywood accepted and which the FTC cleared last month.

Delphi ousted its chief financial officer and its controller and will restate three years of results from 2001 and later after an internal audit revealed that the auto-parts manufacturer inflated cash flow and pretax income. Finance chief Alan S. Dawes and controller Paul Free left nine days after chief executive J.T. Battenberg III said he plans to retire later this year.

Apple Computer can force three online publishers to disclose where they got confidential information about new Apple products, a California judge said. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group that seeks to protect civil liberties related to technology, tried to shield the three Web publishers.

Coca-Cola provided documents to federal prosecutors as part of an investigation into allegations by a fired executive of accounting and marketing fraud. Current and past employees have testified before a grand jury investigating the allegations or have been interviewed by prosecutors, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

A federal lawsuit against Dell alleges that the computer company baited customers with low-cost financing and then switched their loans to a higher interest rate. The complaint seeks national class-action status.

ChevronTexaco, citing disappointing drilling results, reduced its U.S. natural-gas reserves by 13 percent in 2004. The second-largest U.S. oil company cut its stated reserve by 680 billion cubic feet, 3 percent of its worldwide natural gas reserves, according to its annual report.


General Motors signed a cost-cutting deal with German workers and announced that it would consolidate mid-size car production at its Adam Opel plant in Ruesselsheim, Germany, rather than in Trollhaettan, Sweden. GM said it based the decision on labor costs, plant efficiency, logistics and currency issues.

A court refused to grant a request by the Australian recording industry to force owners of the Kazaa file-sharing service to disclose their assets pending a decision in a music piracy case. Australian recording labels are suing Kazaa's owners, accusing the company of contributing to widespread copyright infringements.


Yamaha Motor recalled about 190,000 motorcycles because the passenger seat can fall off the rear fender, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The recall covers XV250, XVS11 and XVS65 motorcycles from model years 1988 to 2005. The NHTSA also announced recalls by Mitsubishi Motors of 65,436 2004 and 2005 Endeavor sport-utility vehicles for a possible parking brake defect, and by DaimlerChrysler of 43,180 2005 Chrysler Pacifica SUVs for possible headlight problems.


MCI said chief executive Michael D. Capellas received $5 million in incentive payments for meeting financial targets for 2004, including leading the company out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and completing its financial restatement.

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

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