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Amgen pleads guilty to illegal marketing

  • December 18, 2012 - 9:03 PM
Amgen pleads guilty to illegal marketing

The biotechnology giant Amgen Inc. pleaded guilty to illegally marketing its anemia drug Aranesp and agreed to pay $762 million in criminal penalties and settlements of whistle-blower lawsuits. David Scott, Amgen's general counsel, entered the guilty plea to a single count of misbranding Aranesp, meaning selling it for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The company agreed to pay $136 million in criminal fine and $14 million in a criminal forfeiture, as well as $612 million to settle various civil lawsuits from whistle-blowers.

Comcast surpasses $100B in market cap

Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, closed above $100 billion in market capitalization for the first time, validating the gamble it made on NBC Universal almost two years ago. Since buying a controlling stake in NBC on Jan. 29, 2011, Comcast has seen its stock increase by more than two-thirds. The company has benefited from improving prime-time ratings among 18- to 49-year-olds at the broadcast network, which climbed from last place to first this season. Comcast shares rose 1.4 percent to close at $38.05, a record high, amid a broader wave of cable-stock gains.

Toyota to pay more fines in safety probe

Having already paid record fines for not promptly recalling cars, Toyota Motor Corp. will pay the government another $17.35 million to federal safety regulators. The latest fine is for not promptly recalling Lexus RX 350s and RX 450h sport-utility vehicles because a floor mat on the driver's side could jam the gas pedal, causing the car to accelerate when the driver didn't intend to. Federal law requires all auto manufacturers to notify NHTSA within five business days of determining that a safety defect exists.

Treasury to sell its stakes in TARP banks

The Treasury Department said it planned to sell the government's stake in some of the 218 mostly small banks that still have not repaid bailout money received during the financial crisis. The sales, beginning as early as next month, will take place through 2013 as the government tries to finish winding down the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, also known as TARP. The 218 banks remaining in TARP owe a combined total of about $8 billion.

Knight Capital said to enter talks with Getco

Knight Capital Group Inc., the Wall Street firm pushed to the brink of bankruptcy by a computer error four months ago, agreed to pursue a takeover by Getco, Bloomberg News reported. Getco, the closely held high-frequency trader in Chicago, sweetened its proposal throughout the day and ended up offering $3.75 a share for Knight, with about two-thirds in cash and the rest in stock, Bloomberg said, citing anonymous sources. Knight decided against an all-cash offer from Virtu Financial.

Judge finds for Apple in Motorola patent case

Apple Inc.'s iPhone didn't violate patent rights owned by Google Inc.'s Motorola Mobility for a sensor that prevents accidental hang-ups, a U.S. International Trade Commission judge said. The patent is invalid, ITC judge Thomas Pender said in a notice posted on the agency's docket. The judge's findings are subject to review by the full commission, which has the power to block imports of products that infringe U.S. patents. The commission ordered Pender to consider a possible violation.

Owner of TheStreet.com settles with SEC

TheStreet Inc., operator of the financial website TheStreet.com, and three former executives settled a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of accounting fraud at the company in 2008. The SEC filed three complaints in federal court against TheStreet, ex-Chief Financial Officer Eric Ashman and two former co-presidents of a onetime unit of the company, Gregg Alwine and David Barnett. The defendants agreed to settle without admitting or denying the claims, the SEC said in a statement.

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