tampabay.com

Sprint Nextel to pay $57m in lawsuit

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 19, 2007


Sprint Nextel will pay $57-million to settle a class-action lawsuit claiming it targeted older workers during layoffs, the wireless company said Friday. The settlement, included in a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas, would cover 1, 697 former employees who were laid off between Oct. 1, 2001, and March 31, 2003. Sprint Nextel Corp., acknowledges no wrongdoing in the settlement.

SAN FRANCISCO

Paper to cut news staff by 25 percent

The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper plans to cut about a quarter of its newsroom staff. Management told union leaders Thursday that it plans to eliminate 80 union and 20 management positions, out of a newsroom staff of about 400. The Chronicle is owned by Hearst Corp. Managers told the union the cuts were necessary because of the paper's continuing financial losses.

NEW YORK

Microsoft buys big into online ads

Microsoft took a deep plunge into the online advertising business Friday, paying $6-billion in cash and a massive 85 percent premium to snap up one of the last major players in the sector, aQuantive Inc. The deal came just one day after another online ad company, 24/7 Real Media Inc., was acquired for $649-million by advertising conglomerate WPP Group PLC. It is the largest acquisition in Microsoft's history. The all-cash, $66.50 per share price represents a steep premium to aQuantive's Thursday closing price of $35.87.

Northwest allowed out of bankruptcy

After 20 months of a wrenching reorganization, Northwest Airlines got approval on Friday to emerge from bankruptcy protection into an industry besieged by higher fuel costs and crowded with competitors. Northwest Airlines Corp. announced it would exit bankruptcy on May 31.

LONDON

AstraZeneca wins FDA drug approval

Drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC said Friday that U.S. regulators have approved a new once-daily version of its Seroquel schizophrenia drug, the company's second-biggest seller, with global sales of $3.4-billion last year. Analysts said approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of Seroquel XR was important to extend the life cycle of drug family.

DETROIT

Auto talks likely to be contentious

With Detroit automakers losing billions and their market share in a slump, this summer's contract talks with the United Auto Workers promised to be more contentious than ever. But Monday's announcement that Daimler would sell most of Chrysler to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP likely means the union will face even deeper demands for givebacks as the automakers try to pare costs to compete with Honda and Toyota.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas

Clear Channel accepts an offer

The board of Clear Channel Communications Inc. on Friday accepted an offer from private equity buyers with a slightly higher price and a rare opportunity for shareholders to continue owning a stake in the radio and billboard company even after it goes private. The board and the buyer's group have faced stiff resistance from several large shareholders. Clear Channel owns several Tampa Bay area radio stations.