The Washington Post Sunday - - TAKING STOCK -


BP will pay $18.7 bil­lion to set­tle civil claims aris­ing from the 2010 Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico— the worst in U.S. history.

Ap­ple had con­spired in 2010 with five ma­jor book pub­lish­ers to fix e-book prices, a fed­eral ap­peals court said, up­hold­ing the ver­dict. It called Ap­ple’s trans­gres­sions “the supreme evil of an­titrust.”

Sprint will pay $50 mil­lion to set­tle claims brought by the Con­sumer Fi­nan­cial Pro­tec­tion Bureau that it en­gaged in “cram­ming,” charg­ing mo­bile cus­tomers for ser­vices that they never or­dered.

A record 85.1 mil­lion acres of soy­beans are in the ground, the Agri­cul­ture Depart­ment said, but heavy rain has flooded fields and slowed plant de­vel­op­ment. Corn and soy­bean con­di­tions in Illi­nois, In­di­ana, Iowa and Ohio have shown de­te­ri­o­ra­tion with the rain.

J.M. Smucker said it cut prices for most of its Fol­gers and Dunkin’ Donuts cof­fee brands sold in the United States by 6 per­cent to woo back cus­tomers, par­tially re­vers­ing last year’s price hikes. The com­pany is the first U.S. roaster to cut prices af­ter a cus­tomer back­lash fol­low­ing a 9 per­cent price hike a year ago as ara­bica prices soared.

SUVs of all sizes con­tin­ued to fly off dealer lots in June. Sales of the larger Ford Ex­plorer rose 30 per­cent. Nissan’s Rogue small SUV posted a 54 per­cent jump. Sales of the Jeep Cherokee gained

39 per­cent.

Face­book nearly dou­bled the num­ber of its black and His­panic em­ploy­ees last year, but those groups are still starkly un­der­rep­re­sented. In 2014, black and His­panic em­ploy­ees made up 5.4 per­cent of all work­ers, up from 4.4 per­cent in 2013.

Cap­i­tal Busi­ness

Media gi­ant Gan­nett for­mally split in two, with the broad­cast­ing and dig­i­tal di­vi­sions be­com­ing Tegna, and the news­pa­per and pub­lish­ing parts re­tain­ing the brand Gan­nett.

Tow­ers Wat­son, the Ar­ling­ton, Va.-based pro­fes­sional ser­vices com­pany that op­er­ates a pri­vate health in­sur­ance ex­change cov­er­ing about 1.2 mil­lion peo­ple, an­nounced an $18 bil­lion all-stock merger with Wil­lis Group Hold­ings, a Lon­don-based firm.

Bat­tery maker Flex El will open a re­search, de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity this fall in 10,000 square feet leased from the U. of Md. in Col­lege Park.


United Air­lines is buy­ing a $30 mil­lion stake in Ful­crum BioEn­ergy and plans to go into busi­ness with the com­pany, build­ing fac­to­ries to con­vert trash into jet fuel.

Hedge fund Stan­dard Gen­eral closed its $26.2 mil­lion deal to buy the Ra­dioShack brand. Stan­dard Gen­eral can use the name on the 1,740 Ra­dioShack stores it bought in April. Sep­a­rately, Sprint is mov­ing for­ward with plans to build Sprint shops in 1,435 Ra­dioShack stores.


The U.S. econ­omy added 223,000 jobs in June, but flat wages and an ex­o­dus of work­ers from the la­bor mar­ket sug­gest an econ­omy that is still well short of a full re­cov­ery. The job­less rate fell to 5.3 per­cent, the low­est mark in seven years, but the de­cline re­flected a wave of Amer­i­cans who ei­ther re­tired or aban­doned their job hunts. Puerto Rico Gov. Ale­jan­dro

Gar­cía Padilla, por­tray­ing the ter­ri­tory’s eco­nomic con­di­tion as even more dire than pre­vi­ously re­vealed ap­pealed to Washington to make un­prece­dented, “con­crete” changes in bank­ruptcy rules to help res­cue the is­land’s fi­nances.

As Greece teeters on the brink of fi­nan­cial col­lapse, Euro­pean of­fi­cials slammed the door on any fur­ther ne­go­ti­a­tions be­fore a na­tional ref­er­en­dum planned for Sun­day. Greek vot­ers will weigh in on the spend­ing cuts that Europe has de­manded as a con­di­tion of fi­nan­cial res­cue. The gov­ern­ment has urged a “no” vote, a choice that Euro­pean of­fi­cials say would trig­ger Greece’s exit from the euro zone. A “yes” vote could cause Alexis Tsipras’s gov­ern­ment to col­lapse. Greece’s banks have closed to pre­serve their dwin­dling cash re­serves, and Greeks have been lim­ited to with­draw­ing 60 eu­ros, or about $67, per day— caus­ing panic. The Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors said its sea­son­ally ad­justed pend­ing home sales in­dex rose has in­creased 10.4 per­cent over the past 12 months, putting it just be­low the April 2006 level.


The Jus­tice Depart­ment is in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether some of the big­gest U.S. air­lines have col­luded to keep air­fares high.

Pres­i­dent Obama said he wants to re­quire overtime pay for salaried work­ers who make up to $50,400 a year, a pro­posal that the White House es­ti­mates will cover nearly 5 mil­lion work­ers.

Gold­man Sachs Group will pay $7 mil­lion to re­solve SEC charges stem­ming from a pro­gram­ming er­ror in 2013 that caused the stock­op­tions mar­ket to be flooded with er­ro­neous or­ders, roil­ing traders and prices.

No­var­tis should pay as much as $3.35 bil­lion in dam­ages and civil fines, the U.S. gov­ern­ment said, be­cause the Swiss drug­maker used kick­backs to boost sales of drugs cov­ered by Medi­care and Med­i­caid.

The Jus­tice Depart­ment filed a law­suit to stop Swe­den’s Elec­trolux, which owns the Frigidaire, Ken­more and Tap­pan brands, from buy­ing Gen­eral Elec­tric’s ap­pli­ance busi­ness in a $3.3 bil­lion deal.


Nike said Phil Knight, chair­man and co-founder, will step down next year. Knight, 77, said he would con­tinue to play an ac­tive role in Nike even af­ter his ten­ure ends.

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