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Corporations and securities law brief ~ SEC, Ford settle over deceptive marketing

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday’s corporations and securities law news, the SEC [official website] announced today that it had reached an agreement with Ford Motor Credit Company [corporate website] over illegal marketing of the “Ford Money Market Account.” The agreement includes $700,000 in fines, an agreement to cease and desist the marketing practices, and a series of remedial reforms. The SEC charged Ford with misleading customers by not disclosing that the account was not a money market but instead involved the purchase of unsecured corporate debt and was not backed by the FDIC [official website]. Read the SEC press release. Dow Jones has more.

In other corporations and securities law news...

  • Viacom [corporate website], the third-largest media corporation in the United States, has announced plans to split into two separate entities in 2006. The first, which will retain the Viacom [Wikipedia profile] name, will comprise the MTV cable networks, Paramount movie studio, and the acquisitions portion of the company. The other, which will be called CBS Corp., will be composed of CBS, UPN, and Viacom’s other broadcast television and radio units. Viacom’s Chairman, Sumner Redstone [Wikipedia profile], announced the planned split and expects it to be tax-free. See the Viacom press release. Bloomberg has more.

  • BancWest [corporate website] has purchased Commercial Federal Bank [corporate website]. The merger will make BancWest, the American subsidiary of French BNC Paribas [corporate website], the third-largest bank in the western United States. See the BancWest press release. See the BNC Paribas press release. MarketWatch has more.

  • Lattice Semiconductors announced that it has placed its CEO, Cyrus Y. Tsui, and vice-president, Rodney F. Sloss, on administrative leave. The move comes as the SEC begins a probe of Lattice’s bookkeeping and executive compensation. Lattice, which has named an acting CEO and vice-president, is also conducting an internal audit. See Lattice’s biography page for Tsui and Sloss. See the Lattice press release. MarketWatch has more.

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