Murdoch may get waiverFederal regulators rejected...

BUSINESS DIGEST

May 05, 1995

Murdoch may get waiver

Federal regulators rejected yesterday a proposal that would have forced media tycoon Rupert Murdoch to slash his stake in Fox television network, giving his Australia-based News Corp. a chance to escape penalties.

The Federal Communications Commission said it will waive limits on foreign ownership of U.S. broadcasting licenses if Mr. Murdoch and his media empire can show that their 1985 purchase of TV stations served the public interest. The FCC voted against a staff recommendation that would have led to a costly restructuring of Fox.

Sale of chemical firm OK'd

The board of Grow Group Inc., a New York-based paint and chemicals maker with a factory in Havre de Grace, has approved a purchase offer by Imperial Chemical Industries PLC.

William Rogers, president of the company's 225-employee Maryland division, which makes generic versions of popular cleaning products, said the deal is not expected to affect operations here.

The $18.10-a-share offer by the paint and chemicals conglomerate has run into opposition from some shareholders, however.

Two New York shareholders sued to block the sale yesterday, charging that management agreed to sell the firm for less than its worth in return for ICI's pledge to keep current management.

Reebok to settle retailer suit

Reebok International Ltd., the nation's second-largest manufacturer of athletic shoes, agreed yesterday to pay $9.5 million to settle charges it pressured retailers not to discount its sneakers.

The Federal Trade Commission and attorneys general from all 50 states charged in 1993 that Reebok had forbidden dealers to advertise and sell their athletic shoes below the suggested retail price and its clothing for more than 10 percent off. Reebok, which admitted no wrongdoing, said it settled the case to avoid protracted litigation.

Under its settlement, Reebok and its subsidiary, Rockport, are prohibited for 20 years from pressuring retailers to sell their products at certain price levels.

Chamber chooses new president

Linda Cotton, a former associate publisher for The Baltimore Sun, has been elected president of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce by its board of directors.

Ms. Cotton, a public relations, marketing and communications consultant, takes office May 30.

Sun shows circulation growth

The Baltimore Sun is the only top-20 metropolitan daily newspaper with three consecutive six-month periods of circulation growth, according to figures recently released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Sunday circulation reached a record high, increasing by 2,970, to 494,542, for the six months ending March 31. The Sun's combined average daily circulation was 350,943, a gain of 2,639 copies over the same period last year.

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