Corporations and securities brief ~ IBM partially settles class action suit

In Thursday's corporations and securities law news, IBM announced a partial settlement of a class action lawsuit relating to its pension plan. The deal includes the company taking a $320 million charge against earnings in its current quarter and capping future potential liability at $1.4 billion. However, IBM will still appeal last year's ruling by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois that its pension plan discriminated against older employees. Read the District Court's opinion here [PDF]. Read the IBM press release here. IBM had a webcast and has a transcript [PDF]of the proceedings which announced the deal. The Financial Times has more.

In other news...

  • The SEC said it brought charges against brokerage firm Raymond James Financial Inc., former president Stephen Putnam, and a former branch manager, David Ullom, for failing to properly supervise the activities of former broker, Dennis Herula in 1999 and 2000. Herula is accused of participating in a scheme that raised about $44.5 million from investors. Read the SEC press release here. Read the Raymond James response to the charges here. Reuters has more.

  • Fannie Mae may have to restate its past earnings as a result of the investigation which found widespread accounting problems at the mortgage financier. AP has more.

  • Food retailer Royal Ahold NV announced a settlement with a Dutch public prosecutor over a 2003 bookkeeping scandal which showed the company had inflated its profits by more than $1 billion. Ahold will pay 8 million euros ($10 million) to avoid any charges. Read the Ahold press release here. AP has more.

  • Delphi, a spin-off company from GM, announced the SEC is investigating the accounting of $46 million in payments and credits received from EDS in 2000 and 2001. Read the Delphi SEC filing announcing the investigation here. CBS MarketWatch has more.

  • Prosecutors, in the case of three British bankers who are charged with bilking National Westminster Bank of $7.3 million in a scheme fostered by former Enron CFO Andrew Fastow, announced they have put procedures in place to ensure the bankers will receive a fair trial if they are sent to the United States. AP has more.

  • The Federal Communications Commission said the commission's consideration of the proposed merger between Cingular Wireless and AT&T Wireless Services Inc. could still take weeks rather than days. Dow Jones has more.

  • As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, in arguments heard on Thursday, Microsoft wants the European Union's Court of First Instance to suspend penalties imposed on the company by the European Commission for violating Europe's antitrust law. Microsoft has more about its legal battles in Europe on its website. JURIST's Paper Chase also has extended coverage of Microsoft's legal battles. AFP has more.
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