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Treasury announces final AIG stock sale

Tue., Dec. 11, 2012, midnight

WASHINGTON – The U.S. government said Monday that it is selling its remaining shares of American International Group stock, moving to close the books on the government’s biggest bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.

Treasury said it had begun a sale of 234.2 million shares of common stock in a public offering. The government’s shares represent a 16-percent ownership stake in the insurance company.

Treasury has already recovered more on its AIG investment than the original $182.3 billion bailout. It was the largest government bailout package, including both loans and federal guarantees.

As of September, Treasury and the Federal Reserve had received $197.4 billion.

AIG, which is based in New York City, nearly collapsed at the height of the financial crisis. The company suffered massive losses from exotic financial instruments whose value was based on mortgage securities.

Attorney general files suit over spam texts

SEATTLE – Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office has filed a lawsuit targeting a Florida-based company accused of sending people unsolicited text messages, calling it another form of spam that annoys people and costs them money.

It’s one of the first lawsuits by a state attorney general targeting spamming via text messages, said assistant Attorney General Paula Selis, who heads McKenna’s High Tech Unit.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in a U.S. District Court in Seattle.

McKenna’s office is targeting Orlando-based Dinav Holding and its owners, Jonathan Charles Diaz and Juan Carlos Diaz. The lawsuit alleges the company over a period of two days in May targeted residents in Washington with texts advertising payday loans with companies not licensed in the state.

A phone number listed for Dinav Holding rang busy.

McKenna accuses Dinav Holding of violating the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and two state consumer protection laws, the Washington State Commercial Electronic Mail Act and the Washington State Consumer Protection Act.

Washington law does not allow commercial text messaging. The federal law prohibits making calls using an automated dialing system, officials said.

Dinav Holding could face steep penalties. Violation of the federal act and one of the state laws comes with damages of $500 per violation if the company is found at fault, officials said.

Delta-Virgin Atlantic deal said to be close

Delta Air Lines Inc. is close to buying a stake in Virgin Atlantic for between $300 million to $500 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press on Monday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because a deal has not been announced.

Singapore Airlines owns a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic. Last week, it said it was in talks with a possible buyer for that stake. Delta has been widely reported to be on the other side of those talks.

It’s not yet clear exactly what Delta would do with its stake, but Virgin Atlantic is the second-biggest airline at London’s Heathrow airport, behind British Airways.

A partnership with Virgin Atlantic would give Delta access either to some of its landing rights, or at least to some of the financial benefits of flying people to London, whether they’re on a plane flown by Delta or Virgin Atlantic.


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