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Corporations and securities brief ~ SEC may file charges against Fidelity over gifts

[JURIST] Leading Monday's corporations and securities law news, Fidelity Investments [corporate website] has announced that it may face civil charges from the SEC. In a press release, Fidelity said that it received a Wells Notice that the SEC may file a lawsuit related to Fidelity's employees accepting gifts from Wall Street brokerage firms. A Wells Notice is a formal notice the SEC sends to companies to notify them that they may face civil charges. Earlier this month, Fidelity reassigned employees who may have been involved in accepting gifts [JURIST report]. Bloomberg has more.

In other corporations and securities law news...

  • German bank Commerzbank [corporate website] has announced that it is being investigated by Swiss and German authorities. The bank is being investigated for possible money-laundering related to Russian telecoms. The personnel and services chief of the bank, Andreas de Maiziere, has already left the company as a result of the investigation. In a brief press release, the bank said that investigators searched its Frankfurt offices last week. Reuters has more.

  • Sony BMG [corporate website] has settled with New York State over a payola scheme [Wikipedia entry]. In a press release, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer [Wikipedia profile] said Sony BMG bribed radio stations to give more airtime to Sony BMG artists. As part of the settlement, Sony agreed to stop the payments and to disclose all payments Sony BMG employees made to radio stations. Sony also agreed to donate $10 million to a New York musical education charity. AP has more.

  • Danone Group and French regulator AMF [official website] has announced that PepsiCo is not planning to bid on the French dairy producer. The announcement put to rest weeks of rumors that had prompted vows of defense from France's Prime Minister [JURIST report] and President [Reuters report]. AFX has more.

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