Tyco International's board never approved a $17 million bonus for former general counsel Mark A. Belnick, a former director told jurors in Belnick's criminal trial. Joshua M. Berman, a Tyco director for 25 years, said the board would not have approved the 2000 bonus because L. Dennis Kozlowski, then the chief executive, wanted to fire Belnick within months of his hiring in 1998.
Energy Leads Import Cost Jump
Import prices rose 1.6 percent last month, the most in 15 months, another sign of inflation that might prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. The Labor Department's import price index's increase was led by energy prices and followed a 0.2 percent rise in April. Excluding petroleum, the index, which gauges the cost of goods and raw materials from abroad, rose 0.4 percent.
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William H. Donaldson scheduled a June 23 vote on a plan to require mutual funds to have independent chairmen, a proposal opposed by much of $7.6 trillion fund industry. The SEC's five commissioners are divided on the issue.
A federal judge is leaning toward unsealing much of the evidence that companies want to keep secret in an antitrust trial examining Oracle's $7.7 billion bid for rival software maker PeopleSoft -- a factor that could sway the case's outcome. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker told attorneys for both Oracle and the Justice Department that, based on the evidence submitted during the first three days of the trial, he saw little reason the material should be kept confidential.
Tenet Healthcare is in talks that could result in it paying more than $1 billion to settle hundreds of claims of unnecessary heart surgeries and to end most of the federal investigations into the hospital chain's business practices, sources familiar with the talks said. If negotiations fail, the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company faces the prospect of civil and criminal trials.
United Airlines' parent, UAL, reached a benefit agreement with 27,000 retirees that it says will save the company at least $300 million through 2010. UAL, operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, had earlier reached a similar deal with mechanics.
The SEC is stepping up a drive to stop accounting firms from charging contingency fees for handling tax work of companies they audit. SEC Chief Accountant Donald T. Nicolaisen said he ordered the seven biggest firms to fully disclose any such arrangements to company audit committees that oversee their work. He also warned the firms that they may face enforcement investigations over the fees, which are based on a percentage of tax savings and may create an incentive for questionable accounting.
DaimlerChrysler is facing an expanded investigation into potentially faulty air bags on almost 1.3 million minivans, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. Affected models are the 1998 to 2000 Caravan, Grand Caravan, Voyager, Grand Voyager and Town and Country. Also, the NHTSA is probing reported failures of glass assemblies in the liftgates of 2002 Ford Explorer, Explorer Sport and Mountaineer sport-utility vehicles. More than 570,000 SUVs could be affected.
Ford Motor Credit has reached a settlement with 38 states over fees charged to customers who ended their vehicle leases before the scheduled date. Sometimes the fees exceeded the lease balance, and dealers kept the extra money. Affected customers in the 38 states, including Virginia, could get back $100.
Unemployment claims rose as the Labor Department reported that the four-week moving average of jobless claims rose to 346,000 from 341,250. Last week, the department reported that companies added 1.2 million jobs in the first five months of this year, a pace that would recoup the jobs lost since the start of the 2001 recession by November if it is sustained.
Kenneth G. Langone, former head of the New York Stock Exchange's compensation committee, called New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer's lawsuit against him "bullying" that will fail. Spitzer last month accused Langone of misrepresenting the pay of Dick Grasso, the former NYSE chairman and chief executive, and of breaching his fiduciary duty. Grasso was also named in Spitzer's suit. Langone, in a Wall Street Journal commentary titled "Let's Bring on the Jury, Mr. Spitzer," wrote that he welcomes a trial.
Mortgage rates moved higher, a trend that is slowing home mortgage refinancings but isn't expected to hurt home sales. Rates on benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages climbed to 6.30 percent for the week ending June 11, Freddie Mac reported in its weekly nationwide survey. Fifteen-year, fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.67 percent, while one-year adjustable rate mortgage rates climbed to an average 4.14 percent.
Sara Lee Branded Apparel will shut five plants and lay off 3,825workers worldwide by the end of the year, as the company consolidates its production of intimates, sportswear and underwear.
Swift Transportation said the SEC is reviewing stock trades made by Jerry Moyes, its chairman and chief executive. It said Moyes, who made $622,000 trading 187,000 shares last month, is cooperating with the informal inquiry. Swift said this month that outside council is examining purchases by Moyes and broker trades for a company buyback just before it raised an earnings forecast, causing its share price to rise 20 percent.
Microsoft offices in South Korea were searched by that nation's regulators, who are investigating allegations that the company violates trade rules by tying its instant messaging program to the Windows operating system. The company pledged cooperation.
Saudi Arabia is acting on its promise to increase oil production. State-owned Saudi Aramco will ship between 85 percent and 100 percent of the amounts set in annual contracts with U.S. crude-oil buyers, officials at two of its U.S. customers said. The kingdom last month told buyers they would get between 75 percent and 80 percent in June.
Three British bankers may be extradited to the United States on wire fraud charges in an Enron-connected transaction. Formerly employed by National Westminster Bank, the three were indicted by a Houston grand jury in 2002 for allegedly cheating NatWest out of $7.1 million. They were arrested in London and face extradition hearings this month.
A group of independent music labels blasted Sony and Bertelsmann's plan to create the world's second-largest music company and urged European antitrust enforcers to take "severe" measures to protect diversity at a critical time for music sales. Impala, which represents some 2,000 independent music companies, and the heads of some of Europe's top independent labels warned that they were in danger of being "marginalized further" by the majors' "manipulating access to music at retail, media and on the Internet."
Freddie Mac submitted plans for the succession of top executives and for ensuring compliance with accounting rules and other laws to its regulator. It developed the procedures in response to a Dec. 9 consent order with the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. The order came after the federally chartered mortgage finance company disclosed that it understated earnings by $5 billion from 2000 until 2002.
America Online settled a lawsuit by science-fiction writer Harlan Ellison over copyrighted short stories posted by a participant in an online discussion group. Terms were not disclosed. A federal appeals court in February ruled that America Online may not be protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which normally bars such suits against Internet service providers.
National Semiconductor rebounded to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $126.4 million from a $4.4 million loss a year earlier as market share continued to increase for its higher-margin analog products. Revenue rose 34 percent, to $571.2 million.
Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers.