October 4, 2006 in Business

Hearing questions media ownership rules

The Spokesman-Review

The concentration of media ownership in a few large corporations came under attack Tuesday as the Federal Communications Commission opened a series of hearings on the issue.

“Without diversity in ownership and participation, our democracy is in danger,” Rep. Maxine Waters said at the initial hearing held at the University of Southern California.

The FCC is reconsidering a number of broadcast ownership rules, including whether a single company should be able to own both a newspaper and television station in the same market.

New York

Ex-Tyco officials appeal convictions

L. Dennis Kozlowski, former chief executive of Tyco International Ltd., and Mark Swartz, its former finance chief, filed appeals papers Tuesday saying they were wrongfully convicted of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the company.

The thrust of the filings with the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division is that the men, once two of the country’s highest-paid executives, were convicted of what should have been a civil dispute between them and Tyco’s board of directors.

Kozlowski, 59, and Swartz, 46, were sentenced in September 2005 to sentences of 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison. They were convicted of grand larceny, securities fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records related to their taking $140 million in unauthorized compensation and making $410 million by manipulating Tyco’s stock value.

Major companies sued over 401(k) fees

Several major U.S. companies face a challenge over 401(k) fees from lawsuits that allege they allowed employees to be overcharged in retirement plans.

The suits could open the door to more legal action over 401(k) fees depending on their outcome, according to David Wray, president of the Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America, a not-for-profit association of companies that sponsor plans.

Lockheed Martin Corp., General Dynamics Corp., United Technologies Corp., Bechtel Group, Caterpillar Inc., Exelon Corp. and International Paper Co. are named in the complaints.

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