The government sued Slim Down Solution and other companies that make or sell a pill promoted as a "powerful, all-natural fat magnet." Consumers spent about $30 million on products containing D-glucosamine that were sold through infomercials on cable television, the Federal Trade Commission said. The pills cost about $20 for a week's supply. The FTC said the "fat magnet" claims are unsubstantiated.
Kaiser to Post Guidelines, Incentives
Kaiser Permanente is being required by a court settlement to disclose guidelines and financial incentives that influence the medical decisions of its doctors in California. The agreement settles a 1999 lawsuit and is expected to shed light on the cost controls of HMOs. The settlement requires Kaiser to post on the Internet its guidelines for what kind of treatment patients can expect for an illness and how doctors are compensated for their services.
Washington-based Intelsat is the sole remaining bidder vying to purchase European rival Eutelsat to become the world's largest satellite firm, after competing bidder PanAmSat withdrew its bid, according to executives at PanAmSat and Intelsat. PanAmSat, the third-largest satellite firm, sent Eutelsat a letter withdrawing its bid primarily because the negotiation process was too complicated, said Joseph R. Wright Jr., chief executive of PanAmSat. Although neither Intelsat nor PanAmSat disclosed the terms of its deal, the offers were approximately $3 billion in cash and stock, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts said it is buying Montana Mills Bread, a six-year-old, Rochester, N.Y.-based bakery chain, for stock valued at about $40 million. Krispy Kreme, which has about 265 stores in 37 states and Canada, said the purchase would help it develop a bakery-cafe concept over the next two years.
Cisco Systems, the largest maker of equipment to direct Internet traffic, agreed to buy privately owned Okena, whose software protects computers from hackers and viruses, for $154 million in stock.
Microsoft is in talks to buy the video game unit of Vivendi Universal, Investec analysts said. A deal would give Xbox maker Microsoft direct access to game titles.
Server-computer shipments rose 4.2 percent worldwide in 2002, Gartner's Dataquest research unit said. Hewlett-Packard had 30 percent of the world market and 26 percent in the United States but its shipments fell 4.6 percent, to 1.39 million units, Dataquest said. Worldwide shipments by all companies grew to 4.61 million units from 4.43 million in 2001.
The Swiss Federal Banking Commission has adopted guidelines similar to those being discussed in the United States to avoid conflicts of interest in analysts' research. The directives, first issued by the Swiss Bankers Association, demand that banks make a clear distinction between research and their underwriting, investment-banking, securities-trading and credit departments. The guidelines, effective July 1, include a code of conduct barring analysts from investing in firms they cover.
A Norwegian man who runs a song-swapping Web site that let people download copyrighted music was fined for operating the site but not for downloading the music. Frank Bruvik, 24, was ordered by a district court in Norway to pay Sony Music, EMI and Universal Music $14,490.
The British Broadcasting Corp. said it was laying off 61 journalists as part of an effort to save $800 million. The layoffs will come in the broadcaster's television and radio news departments.
Archer Daniels Midland, the world's largest grain processor, said profit in its fiscal second quarter fell 13 percent, to $131.2 million, as costs rose for soybeans used to make animal feed and cooking oil.
American Electric Power, the nation's largest utility company, said it eliminated 1,300 jobs and plans a 42 percent dividend cut to preserve cash. AEP lost $837 million in the fourth quarter after taking more than $1 billion in write-downs. It made a profit of $52 million in the fourth quarter of 2001.
Raytheon said its fourth-quarter loss fell to $15 million, from $162 million a year earlier, but the defense contractor announced 600 layoffs in its aircraft division.
Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers