Media merger appears headed for completion

Published May 9, 2007


Reuters CEO Tom Glocer will lead the combined company if Thomson Corp. succeeds in its $17.5-billion bid for Reuters Group PLC, creating the world's biggest financial news and information provider. A combined Thomson-Reuters would have a market capitalization of about $45-billion and leapfrog market leader Bloomberg LP in providing real-time data to traders and investment professionals. The companies outlined details of the proposed deal Tuesday, revealing that several issues already had been agreed even while stressing that nothing had been finalized and there was no certainty a deal would proceed. The companies said in the joint statement the new company would retain its primary market listings in Toronto and London, but would be controlled by the Thomson family, which owns roughly 70 percent of the equity in Thomson Corp.

Hartford, Conn.

OxyContin maker settles for $19.5M

Drugmaker Purdue Pharma L.P. has agreed to pay $19.5-million to 26 states and the District of Columbia to settle complaints that it encouraged physicians to overprescribe its powerful and addictive painkiller OxyContin. State attorneys general complained that the Stamford, Conn., company urged doctors to prescribe OxyContin every eight hours instead of the 12-hour dose approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Purdue denied Tuesday it had been pushing inappropriate dosing. Among other things, the settlement requires Purdue to abide by warnings on a packaging insert, stop marketing the drug for use in ways other than approved by the FDA, and improve internal controls. The company also agreed to stop basing bonuses for its sales staff solely on the volume of OxyContin prescribed.


Amazon, IBM reach deal over patents

Online retailer Amazon.com and IBM settled all their patent-infringement lawsuits and signed a long-term patent cross-license agreement, the companies said Tuesday. Under the deal, Amazon.com will pay IBM Corp. an undisclosed amount of money, and each company will share some of their technology. In October, IBM alleged that key components of Amazon.com's retailing Web site were developed and patented by IBM. In December, Amazon.com countersued, denying the allegations and charging IBM with violating five of Amazon's patents for ventures including IBM's WebSphere business software.


Precise routes cut airlines' fuel usage

Southwest Airlines Co., the biggest low-fare carrier, will upgrade all its jets to fly more precise routes between airports, saving millions of dollars in fuel. AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, the world's largest carrier, also will put the technology on 214 Boeing Co. 757s and 767s at a cost of $100-million. By 2011, about 75 percent of its planes will have direct-route capability, the carrier said. The upgrades, announced Tuesday by the Federal Aviation Administration, represent the "tipping point" for a technology that also will reduce air-traffic delays, pollution and noise, agency chief Marion Blakey said.