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Communications firm fined for overcharges

Washington state regulators fined phone and data provider Frontier Communications Northwest Inc. $41,400 for overcharging customers for bad checks. 

Frontier, which has 321,000 landlines in Washington, committed 414 violations of the state’s consumer protection rules, according to a Tuesday report from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.

The commission said the company improperly charged $20 or $25 instead of the $15 permitted for a returned check. The violations were discovered during an investigation covering Aug. 1, 2010, through March 31, 2012.

Frontier has 15 days to pay the fine, request a hearing to contest the fine or seek a mitigated solution for a smaller fine.

The company is not allowed to pass the penalty on to customers by increasing rates. 

Frontier’s Eastern Washington customers are in Wenatchee, Kennewick, Pullman, Chelan, Richland and Newport.

Kodak bankruptcy plan approved by judge

NEW YORK – A federal judge approved Kodak’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

Tuesday’s ruling paves the way for the photography pioneer to emerge from court oversight as a new company focused on commercial and packaging printing. The company has said it hopes to emerge from bankruptcy protection as early as Sept. 3.

Founded in 1880, Eastman Kodak Co. filed for Chapter 11 early last year after struggling with increasing competition, the shift from film to digital photography and growing debt levels.

The Rochester, N.Y., company has since sold off many of its businesses and patents so it can concentrate on commercial and packaging printing.

TiVo launches new line of TV viewing devices

NEW YORK – TiVo Inc. has unveiled a new generation of devices that it says will give television viewers more control over what they watch on traditional channels and over the Internet.

The new devices face tough competition from cable and satellite TV companies that are improving their own DVR offerings, as well as stand-alone devices such as Roku and Apple TV that simplify Internet streaming on big-screen TVs. Meanwhile, game consoles and smartphones now come with apps to do much of what TiVo does.

TiVo’s Roamio device, which went on sale Tuesday, marks the company’s first major update in three years.


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