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  • NEW YORK, Feb 25- Three major U.S. tobacco companies including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, Lorillard Inc and Altria Group's Philip Morris USA will pay $100 million to settle hundreds of federal lawsuits over smoking, according to an announcement from plaintiffs' lawyers on Wednesday. The agreement will cover more than 400 lawsuits filed in federal court in Florida...

  • BERLIN— Four Swiss journalists have won a case before the European Court of Human Rights over their use of hidden cameras. Zurich's regional court in 2007 ordered the journalists, from Swiss public television SRF, to pay fines for violating the privacy of one insurance broker. The Strasbourg, France- based European Court of Human Rights said Tuesday that the...

  • NEW YORK— Lockheed Martin has agreed to pay $62 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the defense contractor of mismanaging employee retirement accounts and using funds with excessive fees. Lockheed Martin agreed to settle in December, but terms of the settlement were disclosed for the first time Friday. In settling the case, Bethesda,...

  • A sign for the accountant's business was still on the wall of the building, but it has been closed for 20 years, according to the president of the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP. The NAACP, which has been at the site since 1985, and a barbershop are the only tenants in the building. Henry D. Allen Jr., president of the local NAACP chapter, expressed skepticism...

  • MIAMI/ HAVANA, Feb 20- Hugo Cancio believes he's the new face of American-style entrepreneurship in Cuba. U.S. cable networks, private equity funds and law firms ask for Cancio's take on the thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba announced by President Obama in December. Antonio Zamora, a Miami lawyer aiming to do business in Cuba, said Cancio "is way...

  • NEW YORK/ WASHINGTON, Feb 19- The U.S. government filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to block Sysco Corp's proposed takeover of rival food distributor US Foods Inc, saying the $3.5 billion deal would "eliminate significant competition" in the sector. Sysco's share price was down 3.4 percent for the day, initially on concerns that the Federal Trade Commission was...

  • UPDATE 1-FTC sues to block Sysco-US Foods merger Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 2:29 PM ET

    NEW YORK/ WASHINGTON, Feb 19- The Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday it has filed a lawsuit seeking to block a merger of Sysco Corp and US Foods Inc. Sysco and US Foods, the largest U.S. food distributors and the only ones with national reach, announced the $3.5 billion deal in December 2013. The tie-up has been controversial because Sysco and US Foods are the...

  • Judge rules against American Express in antitrust suit Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 12:13 PM ET

    NEW YORK— American Express violated U.S. antitrust laws by barring merchants from asking customers to use one credit card over another, a federal judge ruled Thursday. The case was a major blow to American Express, who argued that its policies kept it competitive against the larger payment networks of Visa and MasterCard and their bank partners.

  • BEIJING, Feb 13- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Executive Chairman Jack Ma urged employees to relax about U.S. lawsuits against the firm over possible failure to disclose information to investors, in a letter to staff posted on his official microblog on Friday. A series of lawsuits have been filed in the United States after an unusually public fracas with a Chinese...

  • LONDON, Feb 12- Private holders of Greek default insurance could be in for a payout of over $750 million if Greece defaults on debt owed to the European Central Bank or other public-sector creditors, lawyers said. Worries of a default have resurfaced as Athens is in a stand-off with its international lenders over its plans to end austerity measures agreed under...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 11- James Garrity, a partner in the law firm Morgan Lewis& Bockius, is returning to the bench as a U.S. bankruptcy judge in New York after more than a 15- year absence, court officials announced on Wednesday. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper on Feb. 17, according to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees bankruptcy judge succession in the...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 10- A divided federal appeals court in New York allowed more than 100,000 potential plaintiffs to pursue class action litigation accusing Leucadia National Corp and a law firm of fraudulently cutting corners to win default judgments in debt collection cases. Tuesday's 2-1 decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came after the U.S....

  • The deal with the SEC notably does not suspend the firms from practicing as accountants for China- based companies listed on U.S. markets. The firms can face an automatic six-month suspension, however, if they fail to produce documents or provide records that the SEC deems to be deficient. The SEC could also start new fast-tracked enforcement actions or revive...

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission said the Chinese units of Deloitte, Ernst& Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG will each pay $500,000 and admit that prior to 2012 they did not produce documents the SEC had requested. The settlement with the SEC notably does not suspend the firms from practicing as accountants for China- based firms listed in U.S....

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission said that the Chinese units of Deloitte, Ernst& Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG will each pay $500,000 and admit that prior to 2012, they did not produce documents the SEC had requested. The settlement with the SEC notably does not suspend the firms from practicing as accountants for China- based firms listed in...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 5- William Gerber, chief financial officer of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp for the last eight years, will receive a $2.5 million retirement package when he leaves the discount brokerage firm at the end of September, the company said in a quarterly regulatory filing on Thursday. Gerber, 56, began his career at TD Ameritrade in 1999 as director of finance...

  • Profits, productivity and the pursuit of happiness Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 | 1:00 AM ET

    *Financial services firms look at new ways to motivate staff. DUBLIN, Feb 3- There isn't much time for self-reflection when you are advising on company takeovers but at Irish corporate law firm William Fry they are giving themselves some serious thought. It is actually focusing on the things that you are good at and emphasizing their impact in your life, "said Shane...

  • Firms prepare for new tax rules as China vows crackdown Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 | 8:35 PM ET

    Tax professionals and business lobbies alike have welcomed the move as an attempt to bring China's tax regime more in line with international standards. Under the new policy, for example, a firm that invests in China through companies in Hong Kong or Singapore to take advantage of tax benefits that do not exist between China and its home country could find...

  • Deloitte, whose audit clients range from carmaker General Motors Co to investment bank Morgan Stanley, achieved total fees including consultancy work of $34.2 billion last year, giving it a $248 million lead over second-placed PwC, the annual International Accounting Bulletin World Survey said. Rob Tautges, chief executive of mid-tier firm HLB...

  • NEW YORK, Jan 27- Pfizer Inc said on Tuesday it agreed to pay $400 million to avert a trial in a class action lawsuit accusing the pharmaceutical giant of misleading investors in connection with off-label marketing. Pfizer disclosed the agreement-in-principle as it released its fourth-quarter results. "This resolution reflects a desire by the company to...