Drugstores to file price-fixing suitThe nation's largest...

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 14, 1993

Drugstores to file price-fixing suit

The nation's largest retail drugstore chains are preparing a broad antitrust suit charging leading pharmaceutical companies with price fixing, the Associated Press reported.

Executives from Rite-Aid Corp. and Revco D.S. Inc., two of the largest drugstore chains, are scheduled to announce the sweeping federal price-discrimination suit today. The plaintiffs operate over 5,000 retail pharmacies across the country.

Auto sales rose 8.7% in early Oct.

Automakers said sales of their domestically built cars and trucks rose 8.7 percent in early October, although the companies were again plagued by inventory shortages.

Most of the gains reported yesterday were posted by the U.S. Big Three -- General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Corp. -- whose sales were up a combined 9.1 percent. Japanese companies that build cars and trucks in North America had a 5.4 percent sales gain. Overall, cars and trucks sold at an annual rate of more than 12 million, the best since mid-August.

Travelers expects quarterly loss

Travelers Corp. said yesterday that it is adding $325 million to its property-casualty insurance reserves for asbestos and other environmental claims, and expects a loss for the third quarter.

The addition to reserves will result in an after-tax charge of $211 million, or $1.44 per common share in the quarter. Travelers will report third-quarter results Oct. 18.

Improper McDonnell bills alleged

McDonnell Douglas Corp. improperly billed the government in 1991 for $1.6 million for liquor, golf outings and company expenses for the infamous Tailhook Convention that year, congressional investigators reported.

In addition to charging for items the company should have paid for, the defense contractor billed the government excessively for allowable items, according to a report yesterday by the General Accounting Office.

French trade proposals rejected

The United States and the European Community rejected French proposals for a watered-down world trade agreement.

France urged yesterday that disputes over agricultural subsidies and entertainment trade be left for next year, leaving the 116 nations involved in the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to reach partial agreement on other issues.

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