business news in context, analysis with attitude

  • $28 Billion Tobacco Award Slashed To $28 Million. Reuters reports that a record $28 billion jury award against cigarette maker Philip Morris Cos. has been cut by a judge to $28 million.

    Philip Morris executives said they will continue to appeal even the lower amount.

  • Dole Food Company and its CEO David H. Murdock have signed a definitive agreement that allows Murdock to acquire the approximately 76% of Dole's outstanding common stock that he and his family do not own for $33.50 per share in cash.

  • USAToday reports this morning that corporations are facing a rash of lawsuits from employees looking for back wages for overtime. Among the retailers that are facing such litigation are Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and Radio Shack.

    Last year, according to the story, “the government collected nearly $143 million in back wages for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires employees to be paid overtime. That's a 29% jump over the $111 million collected the previous year.”

    Some of the increase is because of confusion about how to classify employees, but part of it is directly attributable to companies that are working overtime (pun intended) to get more productivity out of fewer employees.

  • Published reports say that Australian scientists have found a new way to treat chickens so they don’t get sick without using antibiotics.

    This could be a significant development in view of current concerns that chickens are being given so many antibiotics that new strains of disease are evolving that are resistant to them.

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