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General Dynamics chief’s compensation dips

The chairman and chief executive of defense contractor General Dynamics Corp. received $15.6 million in salary and compensation in 2007, slightly less than the prior year, according to an Associated Press analysis of a corporate filing released Friday.

The total value of the compensation package was down 1 percent from 2006, when Nicholas D. Chabraja received compensation valued at $15.7 million.

Most of Chabraja’s 2007 compensation came in the form of stock awards and stock options valued at $10.35 million, according to a proxy statement the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Chabraja’s $1.3 million salary was unchanged from 2006. His $3.5 million bonus in 2007 increased 9 percent from the $3.2 million bonus he received in 2006.

Chabraja’s compensation came in a year in which shares of the Falls Church, Va.-based company – parent of General Dynamics Itronix in Spokane Valley – increased 20 percent, from $74.35 to $88.99.

•The U.S. Justice Department has begun a criminal investigation into whether aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. participated in bribery in the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain.

In documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, federal prosecutors asked a judge to halt a federal civil lawsuit that accused Pittsburgh-based Alcoa of bribing officials through overseas shell companies to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in overpayments.

Aluminum Bahrain B.S.C., also known as Alba, in which the Bahrain government holds a 77 percent stake, is seeking more than $1 billion in damages from Alcoa and other affiliated defendants, according to a federal lawsuit filed last month.

•Jeff Bewkes, who took over as CEO of the media conglomerate Time Warner Inc. this year, received compensation valued at $19.4 million in 2007, according to a regulatory filing made Friday.

That represented an increase of 30 percent over the compensation package he received the year before, when he was still chief operating officer. Bewkes became CEO on Jan. 1, succeeding Richard Parsons.

Bewkes received overall compensation valued at $14.9 million in 2006, with the difference due to the estimated value of stock and options awards he received in the two years.

Time Warner has struggled for several years with a stagnant stock price, and investors have been pressing the company to further restructure its sprawling portfolio of assets and take action to revive its flagging AOL subsidiary.

AT&T says it will pay an initial down payment of $1.3 billion to the Federal Communications Commission for its portion of wireless spectrum licenses it won in a government airwaves auction.

AT&T says it will pay the down payment, of which $500 million was paid prior to the start of the auction, within the next 10 business days, according to a regulatory filing Friday. The remaining balance of $5.3 billion will be paid on or before April 17.

The San Antonio, Texas-based company says it will use funds from operations and either short-term or long-term debt to fund the purchase price.

On Thursday, the FCC announced the winners of a record-setting auction. The spectrum was made available thanks to the transition to digital broadcasting.