November 27, 2010 in Business



Siding, window firm settles

K-Designers has agreed to pay $70,000 in fees and a $50,000 civil penalty to resolve allegations brought by the Washington attorney general’s office that it was misleading consumers.

The seller of vinyl siding and windows, despite settling the complaint, denied charges that consumers were being misled by claims they were receiving special discounts, or had won nonexistent contests.

K-Designers also overstated the energy-saving potential of its products, and the consequent increases in home value, assistant Attorney General Jack Zurlini said.

Judson Enterprises, doing business as K-Designers, is registered in Montana but based in California. It operates in 18 Western states.

The company has settled charges similar to those made by Washington with eight other states, Zurlini said.

“Misleading sales tactics somehow became the accepted way to do business among many companies that sell vinyl siding and windows,” Zurlini said. “We believe K-Designer adopted those practices.”

The civil penalty was suspended.

Bert Caldwell

Candy makers in packaging tiff

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Bitter rivals on store shelves in the candy aisle may also duke it out in court.

The Hershey Co. sued Mars Inc. this week. The maker of Hershey’s and Reese’s chocolate candies says the rival maker of Snickers, M&Ms and Dove candies is mimicking its packaging.

Hershey is claiming trademark dilution and infringement, and unfair competition. It says packaging for the Dove line too closely resembles that of its Reese’s products.

Mars did not immediately respond to a telephone message Friday.

Pennsylvania-based Hershey is the nation’s second-largest candymaker. McLean, Va.-based Mars leapfrogged it when it bought Wrigley’s in 2008.

Associated Press

Arrest made in trading case

NEW YORK – An insider trading case last year that federal authorities said was the biggest ever is providing a recipe for another case that may be even bigger.

The current case is largely an extension of work that led to the arrest of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam in October 2009. The Galleon investigation marked the first time that federal authorities used wiretaps in an insider trading probe.

Similarly, wiretaps led to the first arrest in the latest case. Don Ching Trang Chu, a consulting firm executive, was arrested Wednesday for allegedly providing private information about a company’s corporate earnings to a hedge fund.

The FBI this week searched the offices of three hedge funds and subpoenaed some of Wall Street’s most influential firms, including Janus Capital Group and SAC Capital.

Associated Press

Additional shares in GM’s IPO

DETROIT – General Motors Co. said the underwriters in its recent initial public offering have exercised their over-allotment of an additional 71.7 million common shares, bringing the total size of the deal to $23.1 billion.

The additional shares were worth $2.37 billion. The underwriters also exercised the right to purchase an additional 13 million shares of mandatory convertible junior preferred stock from the Detroit automaker, for a total of $650 million.

The closing for the additional shares is expected on Thursday.

Associated Press

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