Thursday, May 15, 2003

Business digest

From wire reports

FCC asked to justify new ownership rules

WASHINGTON - Nearly 100 House Democrats asked Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell Wednesday to publicly justify his agency's plans for overhauling media ownership restrictions before making the changes.

The 92 Democrats and one independent said in a letter that a flood of media mergers could follow the commission's June 2 vote to change decades-old rules governing the ownership of newspapers and TV and radio stations.

Automakers awash in new-car inventory

DETROIT - Automakers have a record levels of new cars and trucks, but observers say a pickup in business is brewing.

While automakers typically like to have a supply of vehicles for about 65 days, some companies, including General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., are carrying inventories that extend beyond 80 days.

Even Asian automakers like Toyota are at higher levels than normal.

Large inventories can lead to production cuts. However, beefed up incentives, rising consumer confidence and the diminishing effects of the U.S.-led war with Iraq are expected to boost sales.

Tyco renews liability coverage for execs

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - Tyco International Ltd. has paid $92 million to continue liability insurance coverage for most of its officers and directors.

A unit of the Chubb Corp. is suing to rescind coverage for 15 former or current Tyco officers and directors. Chubb said the coverage was provided based on misleading information from Tyco.

Chubb did not agree to honor policies covering four officials facing criminal charges.

Patent suit against Lilly goes forward

NEW YORK - Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. stock surged 38 percent Wednesday after a federal judge declined a motion from Eli Lilly and Co. to dismiss a patent-infringement suit, bringing the companies closer to trial.

Shares of Ariad ended at $3.08, up 84 cents on the Nasdaq.

Ariad's lawsuit alleges patent infringement with Lilly's osteoporosis drug Evista and septic shock drug Xigris.

Pilots examine Delta dilemma
Truckers face new licensing
Grandin sounds grand as catalog
Wal-Mart Supercenter due in W. Chester
Ex-banker's home open for viewing
Federated down 48% for quarter
Retail sales dip in face of joblessness
Industry notes: Manufacturing
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