Thursday, April 3, 2003

Business digest

Compiled from wire reports

Merger in works for money transfer giants

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - First Data Corp.'s planned $7 billion purchase of rival Concord EFS Inc. will provide smoother handling of millions of electronic financial transactions for banks, merchants and their customers, the companies said Wednesday. A merger of Denver-based First Data and Memphis-based Concord has been rumored for months.

GE loses bid to oppose EPA's authority

ALBANY, N.Y. - A federal court threw out General Electric Co.'s constitutional challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency's power to force GE to clean up three decades of pollution it pumped into the Hudson River.

GE claimed that the process by which the federal Superfund program is administered violates due process.

But in a decision Monday, U.S. District Judge John Bates said GE did not have grounds to sue, because it has not had legal action brought against it by the EPA.

Exec pleads not guilty to fraud scheme

NEW YORK - U.S. Technologies Inc. chief executive C. Gregory Earls pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he cheated investors out of $15 million and diverted some of the money to a trust for his children.

Prosecutors say Earls misappropriated $13.8 million from USV Partners, a company that was investing in U.S. Technologies. He is also accused of pocketing more than $1 million from investors.

Air Canada seeks bankruptcy protection

MONTREAL - Shares of Air Canada, the country's biggest airline, fell to an all-time low after the carrier said it's insolvent and secured protection from creditors.

Its shares Wednesday dropped 61 percent to 82 Canadian cents (57 cents), giving the airline a market value of 65 million Canadian dollars ($45 million) on 79 million common shares.

Plea deal offered Erpenbeck
Changes at airport possible
Forest Fair's new look begins
ZoomTown puts on music
Profits up for LanVision of Mason
Industry notes: Manufacturing
Tristate summary
What's the Buzz?
Morning memo

Mpg rule for trucks, SUVs raised a bit
Factory activity declines
Business digest