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Dropping dimes means less time for Enron duo

By TIMES WIRES
Published November 18, 2006


Cutting deals to help the government prosecute the architects of the biggest corporate scandal in U.S. history helped keep two ex-Enron executives from getting long stretches in the Big House. Michael Kopper, 41, former Enron CFO Andrew Fastow's top lieutenant, was sentenced to three years and one month in prison on Friday. He had faced up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2002 to money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Mark Koenig, 51, the company's ex-investor relations chief, got an 18-month sentence. He faced up to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in August 2004 to one count of aiding and abetting securities fraud. Both were fined $50,000 and have have two years of probation.

Delta 'far superior' by standing alone

Maybe it's nothing more than a ploy to get US Airways to sweeten its $8.7-billion offer, but Delta Air Lines Inc. says it believes its standalone plan is "far superior" to US. Airways' bid to buy the company and create the nation's largest carrier. Ed Bastian, Delta's chief financial officer, said the company will review US Airways' bid, but doesn't believe it's the right plan for Delta. Shares of US Airways fell $1.16, or 1.9 percent, to close at $59.45 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange, putting the value of the offer for Delta at $8.7 billion.

Universal getting in MySpace's face

MySpace.com, the online social-networking hub illegally, encourages its users to share music and music videos on the site without permission, Universal Music Group alleges in a lawsuit filed Friday. In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court, Universal Music contends MySpace, a unit of News Corp., attempts to shield itself from liability by requiring users agree to grant the Web site a license to publish the content they upload to the site. Users, however, have no such authority over works they don't own. In response, MySpace said it complies with copyright laws and will prevail in court.

Alcatel-Lucent has Bush's blessing

President Bush has approved the proposed $11.8-billion takeover of Lucent Technologies Inc. by French-owned Alcatel, saying the merger of the two telecommunications equipment companies does not present any major national security concerns. The recommendation removed the last major regulatory hurdle to the combination. Once conbined, the telecommunications equipment supplier will generate about $25-billion in sales and account for about an 18 percent share of the market. The company will trim about 9,000 jobs, saving $1.8-billion over three years.