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Delta Air fined for bumping passengers

WASHINGTON – The government is fining Delta Air Lines Inc. $750,000 for bumping some passengers involuntarily, without offering compensation or seeking volunteers first.

Airlines sometimes sell too many tickets for a flight and have to “bump” some or move them to a later flight. If travelers don’t volunteer, the airline has to compensate them.

The Transportation Department said Wednesday that in March 2012, it visited Delta’s Atlanta headquarters and reviewed 310 complaints about how it handled overbookings between November 2010 and January 2012. The agency said it found numerous cases where Delta failed to tell overbooked passengers about their rights to get payments, failed to provide written notice or failed to seek volunteers before bumping passengers involuntarily.

Delta also classified some passengers who were bumped involuntarily as having volunteered to give up their seats, the department said.

The violations show “a widespread practice of noncompliance by Delta that warrants enforcement action and must be rectified,” the department said.

Dish Network Corp. pulls Clearwire bid

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Satellite TV operator Dish Network Corp. is withdrawing its offer to buy wireless network operator Clearwire Corp.

Dish had offered $4.40 per share for Clearwire. But Dish said on Wednesday that it is ending its bid, which had the option to be withdrawn based on Clearwire’s recommendation.

Last week Sprint raised its offer to buy the portion of Clearwire that it does not already own to $5 per share. Clearwire’s board recommended that shareholders accept the new offer. It had previously endorsed Dish’s offer.

NY Starbucks baristas ordered to share tips

ALBANY, N.Y. – Starbucks baristas in New York must share their tips with shift supervisors, but assistant managers are left out in the cold, the state’s highest court ruled Wednesday.

The Court of Appeals found that shift supervisors do much of the same work as the coffee servers and therefore get to share in the tips. It also ruled that the company, which is based in Seattle, can deny those tips to assistant managers.

The ruling, responding to two lawsuits, backed Starbucks’ policy of divvying up the tips, saying it’s consistent with labor law.

Hospitality industry groups say the court’s decision likely will affect policies at similar restaurants and coffee houses in the state and will affect 42,000 businesses statewide and a quarter-million hospitality industry workers in New York City alone.

News Corp. settlement approved by judge

DOVER, Del. – A Delaware judge on Wednesday approved a $139 million cash settlement between News Corp. and shareholders in a lawsuit over the British phone hacking scandal and the media conglomerate’s purchase of an entertainment company run by News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch’s daughter.

The settlement approved by Vice-Chancellor John Noble brings an end to a lawsuit in which shareholders alleged that News Corp. directors, in blind deference to Murdoch, ignored several red flags about the extent of the hacking. The shareholders alleged that the directors failed to act until the scandal exploded in 2011 after British authorities reopened an investigation into the Murdoch-owned tabloid News of the World.


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