FedEx to pay $21.5M in overcharging suit
FedEx Corp., the world's largest cargo airline, will pay $21.5 million to settle a lawsuit over claims that it overcharged customers by billing for deliveries to businesses and governments at higher residential rates. The settlement was filed Friday in federal court. A hearing on preliminary court approval is set for Thursday in Memphis. The settlement covers a class of 200,000 customers. FedEx was accused in the 2011 complaint of overcharging commercial and government customers as much as $3 each for tens of thousands of packages delivered. Under the settlement, FedEx "has agreed to no longer rely solely on a third-party database or customer designations to make business/residential classifications," in addition to paying refunds, according to the filing.
Pending home sales dipped in June
Sales contracts on homes fell in June, backing away from six-year peaks after a recent rise in mortgage rates. Pending home sales fell 0.4 percent, though they are up 10.9 percent from June 2012 levels, the National Association of Realtors said. "Mortgage interest rates began to rise in May, taking some of the momentum out of contract activity in June," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. According to Freddie Mac, the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rose to as high as 4.51 percent in July, from 3.35 percent at the beginning of May. The 30-year averaged 4.31 percent in the week ending July 25. "The persistent lack of inventory also is contributing to lower contract signings," Yun added.
U.S.: JPMorgan manipulated power markets
JPMorgan Chase & Co. manipulated power markets in California and the Midwest from September 2010 to June 2011, obtaining tens of millions of dollars in overpayments from grid operators, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission alleged. The agency said it had preliminarily determined that a JPMorgan trading unit had engaged in eight manipulative bidding strategies. The New York-based bank has agreed to sanctions including a fine of about $400 million in a settlement that may be announced as early as Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported, citing to a person familiar with the case who asked not to be identified because the terms aren't yet public. Other sanctions may include forfeiting profits, this person said.
Drugmaker Perrigo to buy Elan for $8.6B
Perrigo Co., a U.S. maker of over-the-counter medicines, has agreed to buy Irish drug company Elan Corp. for $8.6 billion, gaining a low-tax base for international expansion. Holders of Dublin-based Elan's American depositary receipts will receive $16.50 per ADR in cash and Perrigo stock, the companies said. The purchase allows Perrigo, based in Allegan, Mich., to move its domicile to Ireland, where the corporate income tax rate is 12.5 percent. It also gives the acquirer royalties on the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, which Elan discovered and sold to Biogen Idec Inc. in February.
Sinclair buys seven more TV stations
Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the country's biggest owners of local television stations, continued its buying spree, announcing a deal to acquire seven stations owned by Allbritton Communications, including WJLA, the coveted ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C. The purchase price was $985 million.
Spying Learjets lead Bombardier defense bid
Bombardier built planes such as the Challenger 605 and Learjet 70 to transport company executives. Now it's overhauling them to monitor terrorists, hunt for submarines and find sailors lost at sea. As governments chop defense budgets, the world's largest maker of corporate jets is adapting by offering cheaper alternatives to military designs. Modified Challengers are being marketed as high-altitude search-and-rescue aircraft, and the smaller Learjets as signal-intercepting spy planes, according to Ben Boehm, the executive leading the initiative at Montreal-based Bombardier.
British mortgages, business lending decline
British mortgage approvals unexpectedly declined in June and business lending fell, highlighting continued strains in credit markets. Lenders granted 57,667 home loans compared with a revised 58,071 in May, the Bank of England said. Business lending fell by $2 billion.
FROM NEWS SERVICES