U.S. airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration failed to reach an agreement about voluntary flight cuts at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and talks are expected to continue through next early week, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said. Federal officials asked carriers operating at O'Hare to cut back flights in order to curb record delays at the airport. The FAA threatened on Wednesday to impose a schedule with fewer flights if carriers did not volunteer to cut enough flights.
States Investigate Google Stock
Google's initial public offering may be postponed for a few weeks as California and other states' securities regulators investigate unregistered stock that the Internet search engine company issued. Google has said it may have broken laws in 18 states with the share grants to more than 1,000 employees and consultants between September 2001 and June 2004.
Adelphia Communications, the nation's fifth-largest cable television provider, said it has held preliminary talks with potential bidders and hopes to complete the discussions by the end of the year. Executives then will decide whether it will be best to sell all or part of the assets or emerge from bankruptcy as a stand-alone company, a spokesman said. Adelphia filed for bankruptcy protection two years ago after founder John J. Rigas and others were accused of looting the company and cheating investors out of billions of dollars. John Rigas and his son Timothy later were convicted of conspiracy, bank fraud and securities fraud.
Consumers stepped up their borrowing in June, though at a slower pace than seen during the previous month, the Federal Reserve reported. Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.9 percent in June, or by $6.6 billion, from the previous month. That compared with a brisk 4.8 percent pace in May, an $8 billion rise. Total consumer credit outstanding is now a record $2.04 trillion. The Fed's report includes credit card debt and loans for such things as boats, cars and mobile homes, but not mortgages or home-equity loans.
Four former Halliburton employees, in a new filing in a class-action lawsuit, contend the oilfield-services giant engaged in systematic accounting fraud from 1998, when Dick Cheney ran the company, to 2001. Cheney, who left Halliburton in August 2000 to run for vice president, was not named as a defendant in the filing. The former finance employees say that Halliburton divisions routinely inflated their results by overstating amounts due from customers and understating money owed to vendors and that top executives hid Halliburton's vulnerability to asbestos claims. The charges in the filing go far beyond those outlined this week in a settlement of a civil lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which called for Halliburton to pay $7.5 million for failing to disclose a change in accounting procedures in 1998.
University of Missouri officials said that if Enron founder Kenneth L. Lay is convicted of defrauding investors, they would prefer to remove his name from an economics professorship he endowed, which would probably require the return of his $1.1 million donation. Lay, a Missouri alumnus, was indicted last month on 11 criminal counts, including conspiracy, securities fraud and bank fraud, for his alleged role in the corporate scandal that brought down Enron. He has pleaded not guilty.
American Airlines will pay a $3 million civil penalty to resolve Justice Department concerns that it violated terms of a 1994 consent decree intended to promote airfare competition. The penalty was part of a settlement filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, the Justice Department announced. The department said American violated terms of the 1994 decree by publishing certain fares with increased advance purchase requirements only for future travel dates, rather than current travel. This effectively reduced American's risk of losing passengers to other airlines.
Roy E. Disney, a former director of Walt Disney Co., can't disclose company executives' compensation information to boost his campaign to oust chief executive Michael D. Eisner, a judge ruled. Delaware Chancery Court Judge Stephen P. Lamb ruled that the company didn't have to drop confidentiality restrictions on documents outlining how directors set Eisner's and other executives' pay over a two-year period starting in 2002. Roy Disney left the company board last year to lead a campaign to force Eisner to step down over claims that he'd mismanaged the world's No. 2 media company. Eisner resigned as chairman in March after he failed to win the support of 45 percent of the shares voted at the company's annual meeting, but retained his board seat and chief executive post.
Hollywood Entertainment shares fell as much as 25 percent after closely held Leonard Green & Partners said it couldn't obtain financing for its $888 million acquisition of the video retailer. Hollywood Entertainment said it will consider other options. Leonard Green cited "industry and market conditions" for failing to arrange financing. Video chains including larger rival Blockbuster have been hurt by competition from Wal-Mart Stores, video-on-demand services and Netflix's mail-order rentals.
Tyco International, the world's second-biggest maker of disposable medical products, recalled tubes used to open airways in patients with breathing difficulty, after the devices were associated with two deaths. The recall applies to all lots of 20 models of the Shiley TracheoSoft XLT Extended Length Tracheostomy Tube. Tyco has shipped 73,355 of the one-time-use tubes to hospitals and home-care facilities in the United States and Canada in the past four years, said Randy Krotz, a Tyco spokesman.
Parmalat Finanziaria, the Italian dairy company that is trying to recover from a fraud scandal, said it sued to recover about $350 million from Swiss bank UBS. Last week, it sued Citigroup.
South America's two largest economic blocs, Mercosur and the Andean Pact, agreed to sign a trade deal eliminating tariffs between the two regions. Negotiations between the two groups have been going on since 2001. The Mercosur trade bloc of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil already includes Peru and Bolivia as associate members. The new accord would add Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia to the trade area.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit disbarred D.C. lawyer Lewis A. Rivlin for misappropriating client funds. A three- judge panel said that Rivlin, the ex-husband of former Federal Reserve official Alice Rivlin, could apply to be reinstated only after he had repaid his debts with interest.
Berkshire Hathaway, the company run by billionaire Warren Buffett, said second-quarter profit fell 42 percent, to $1.28 billion, due to a decline in earnings from investments. Berkshire's investments include a major stake in the Washington Post Co.
Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers.