Business


In brief: Starbucks ordered to pay Kraft $2.76 billion

NEW YORK – An arbitrator has concluded that Starbucks must pay $2.76 billion to settle a dispute with Kraft over coffee distribution.

The two consumer products companies had been locked in a fight for three years after Starbucks Corp. fired Kraft as its distributor of packaged coffee to grocery chains.

The arbitrator determined that Starbucks must pay $2.23 billion in damages and $527 million in attorney fees, Starbucks and Mondelez said Tuesday.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Mondelez International Inc., which spun off Kraft Foods Group in October 2012, will get the award. Mondelez, whose brands include Cadbury, Oreo and Tang, said that it plans use the money left after expenses and taxes to buy back stock.

Shares of Mondelez rose 97 cents, or 3 percent, to $33.40 in after-hours trading. Starbucks stock fell $1.20, or 1.5 percent, to $79.41.

Report: Fewer workers in retirement plans

The percentage of U.S. workers who participate in their employers’ retirement plans slipped slightly in 2012, according to a report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Despite the tax savings and long-term benefits of stashing pre-tax income in retirement plans, the majority of workers fail to take advantage of employer-sponsored programs, such as 401(k) accounts, the group reported.

The 39.4 percent participation rate in 2012 was a slight decrease from a 39.7 percent rate a year earlier, the group said.

Government employees were much more likely to participate, with 71.5 percent contributing to their retirement plans, the report said.

Those less likely to participate were younger, nonwhite or unmarried or had lower education levels, the report said. Also, those with lower income levels or health problems were less likely to participate.

Financial advisers have long counseled workers to contribute to their 401(k) accounts because many employers no longer offer traditional pensions and Social Security will not provide enough income for most people during retirement.

Obama nominates Massad to run CFTC

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is praising his choice to run the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as someone who doesn’t seek the spotlight but consistently delivers good results.

Obama announced Tuesday he was nominating Timothy Massad to run the independent agency, which regulates the futures and options markets. Massad is a Treasury Department official who has overseen the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the bank rescue plan known as TARP.

Obama also urged Congress to properly fund the agency. He said budget cuts have left the agency outmanned and outgunned. He said the agency has had to drop open enforcement cases for lack of resources.


 

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