An item in the June 29 Business section incorrectly described CarrAmerica Realty Corp.'s holdings in the Washington area. The company owns interests in 27 buildings containing 5.2 million square feet of office space in the region. Thirteen of those buildings and about 2 million square feet of the space are in the suburbs; the rest is downtown. (Published 6/30/04)
The price of oil fell sharply as traders apparently viewed the transfer of political power in Iraq as a step that could help reduce attacks on the country's oil infrastructure. Light, sweet crude for August delivery settled at $36.24 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down $1.31, or about 3.5 percent. The resumption of production at a Shell platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the resolution of a labor dispute in Norway and Saudi Arabia's pledge to boost June production to at least 9.1 million barrels a day also pushed prices down.
Sockmakers Want Limits on China
A coalition of U.S. sockmakers petitioned the Commerce Department to limit growth of competing imports from China to 7.5 percent a year, saying a surge in trade threatens to put them out of business. Imports of socks from China rose to 22 million pairs in 2003 from 1 million in 2001, the U.S. hosiery industry said in a petition. The Bush administration has 45 days to decide whether to impose trade restrictions.
Forstmann Little will not be charged on claims that the buyout firm misled Connecticut's state pension fund, which is suing for breach of contract over loss-making telecommunications investments, a judge ruled. A state Superior Court judge said the state's lawyers hadn't proved that the New York firm deceived pension executives in making -- and losing -- $2.5 billion in investments from 1999 to 2001. The judge let stand the remainder of the case, Connecticut's allegation that Forstmann Little bought stakes in companies that didn't adhere to the investment contract.
The Supreme Court will use a shareholder lawsuit to decide what evidence is needed to pursue a claim of securities fraud. The court will hear an appeal of a decision allowing shareholders of Dura Pharmaceuticals to pursue a claim that the company's statements about an asthma-medicine dispenser inflated the stock price. The dispenser failed to win regulatory approval, and the share price fell. Dura says the drop was unrelated to approval.
Oracle said it will not ask PeopleSoft chief executive Craig A. Conway to testify at PeopleSoft's antitrust trial after Oracle President Safra A. Catz told Judge Vaughn R. Walker on Friday that as many as 6,000 PeopleSoft employees could be fired and some fees for PeopleSoft customers could rise if Oracle goes through with its proposed takeover. The judge also has been shown PeopleSoft documents that illustrate that PeopleSoft competes with Microsoft and other business applications software suppliers, an Oracle attorney said.
Microsoft will give Arizona consumers $104.6 million in vouchers to settle an antitrust suit, lawyers said. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge gave preliminary approval to the settlement, lawyers for consumers said in a statement. The company has also settled similar suits in 10 states for $1.55 billion.
T-bill rates rose. The discount rate on three-month Treasury bills auctioned yesterday rose to 1.355 percent from 1.315 percent the previous week. Rates on six-month bills rose to 1.725 percent from 1.675 percent. The actual return to investors is 1.381 percent for three-month bills, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,965.70, and 1.764 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,912.80. Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for changing adjustable-rate mortgages, fell to 2.16 percent from 2.22 percent last week.
Tyco International's former general counsel Mark A. Belnick testified under cross-examination that he considered quitting months before he got a $17 million bonus that prosecutors say was given in exchange for his silence about fraud at the company. Belnick says it was a reward for leading Tyco through an investigation that started in December 1999. Belnick said he felt "isolated" and "excluded" in late 1999, as he tried to institute legal controls at Tyco.
A federal jury considering fraud and conspiracy charges against Adelphia Communications founder John J. Rigas, two of his sons and a fourth former company executive requested more than a dozen documents and transcript pages before going home after its first day of deliberations.
DaimlerChrysler lost a Supreme Court bid to stop a class-action lawsuit that accuses the company of selling more than a million minivans equipped with air bags that are dangerous to children and small adults. The justices said they won't review an Oklahoma state court decision that allows the case to proceed as a nationwide class-action suit.
Shareholders of Anthem and WellPoint Health Networks approved the companies' proposed $16.5 billion merger. The deal, which is still being reviewed by California regulators, would create a health management organization with 28 million patients and Blue Cross or Blue Shield operations, or both, in 13 states.
The Supreme Court refused to consider whether moviegoers with disabilities must be given better seats than the front-row accommodations they're provided in many stadium-seating theaters. Justices had been asked to decide if a landmark disabilities law requires better accommodations and if theater owners can be ordered to make after-the-fact changes.
Credit Suisse First Boston has been subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and New York state Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer over its mutual fund trading practices, parent company Credit Suisse Group said in its annual filing with the SEC.
Saturn employees in Spring Hill, Tenn., voted overwhelmingly to approve a contract that formally ends the automaker's unique, 19-year relationship with the United Auto Workers. The new contract will allow layoffs for the first time but require a multimillion-dollar investment by General Motors to ensure that new vehicle lines are produced at the plant.
European Union governments failed to agree on a proposal to approve a genetically modified corn made by U.S.-based Monsanto for use in processed food. Nine countries voted against the license, and Belgium and Spain abstained. Nine others, led by Britain and the Netherlands, were for approval. The decision now goes to the European Commission, which urged the EU governments last week to approve the corn hybrid after it underwent "a thorough safety assessment for any adverse impact on public health."
China's bid to be designated a market economy was denied by the European Union. The designation would have helped Chinese exporters defend themselves against charges of dumping their goods below cost. The European Commission ruled that Beijing's export restrictions and price controls exert too much influence on business. It also said China's corporate governance, property rights and banking industry don't meet free-market standards.
CarrAmerica Realty, a developer of office properties, bought the 15-story, 344,533-square-foot Commonwealth Tower in Rosslyn for $131.2 million in cash. The property is fully occupied, District-based CarrAmerica said. CarrAmerica owns stakes in 13 office buildings with about 2 million square feet in the Washington area.
AES refinanced $316 million in bank loans, ending a default by its electric utility in southern Brazil. The Arlington-based company will pay lenders $50 million, and maturities will be extended to 2011 on $266 million in syndicated loans to its Sul Distribuidora Gaucha de Energia utility. The agreement completes $2.7 billion of refinancing for AES businesses in Brazil.
Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers.