Music publisher sues DisneyA British music publishing...

BUSINESS DIGEST

January 22, 1993

Music publisher sues Disney

A British music publishing house has sued the Walt Disney Co. for $200 million, claiming the release of the movie "Fantasia" on video broke a 1939 deal over use of Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" in the film.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd., accused Disney of illegally extending the right it had purchased for $6,000 to use the music. It asked the court to declare that the 54-year-old right did not extend to videocassettes.

McDonnell Douglas reports loss

McDonnell Douglas Corp. has reported a net loss of $781 million for 1992 because of a $1.5 billion charge against earnings to provide for retiree health benefits. The St. Louis-based aerospace giant had said that it planned to take the charge in 1993 to accommodate new accounting rules.

Ford raises prices

The restraint shown by the Big Three automakers in their new model prices weakened a bit yesterday when Ford Motor Co. announced immediate increases averaging $84, or 0.4 percent, on 14 model lines. The biggest truck price increase was $292, or 1.3 percent, on the hot-selling Mercury Villager minivan, while Lincoln Town Car Cartier Series models went up $219, or 0.6 percent.

Pfizer reports profits

Pfizer Inc. said yesterday that it earned $278.8 million in the fourth quarter as it continued a restructuring designed to concentrate on health care. The profits, worth 83 cents per share, compare to a $900,000 profit, or zero cents per share, in the last quarter of 1991.

Short stock interest falls

Short interest in stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange fell 7.8 percent in the period that ended Jan. 15, to 931.8 million shares. It is the first time short interest has fallen in a one-month period since March.

Chrysler says exports up

Chrysler Corp. said yesterday that its exports of cars and trucks outside of North America rose 22 percent in 1992 over 1991.

Time Warner elects chairman

Time Warner Inc.'s board of directors elected Gerald M. Levin, the chief executive officer and president, as chairman of the global media-entertainment conglomerate. Mr. Levin replaces Steven J. Ross, who died Dec. 20.

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