Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Business digest

52 settlements made in downloading cases

From wire reports

WASHINGTON - The recording industry on Monday announced settlements with 52 of the 261 Internet users it sued over allegations they illegally permitted others to download music from their computers using popular file-sharing software.

The Recording Industry Association of America, which plans to file hundreds more lawsuits in October, did not specify how much it collected. Defense lawyers familiar with some cases said payments ranged from $2,500 to $7,500 each, with at least one settlement for as much as $10,000.

NYSE interim leader won't chop heads yet

WASHINGTON - John S. Reed, the banker temporarily leading the New York Stock Exchange, signaled on his first day in the job he wasn't rushing to remove Wall Street chieftains from the NYSE board or scrap its own reform plan outright.

Reed, who was meeting with Securities and Exchange Commission chairman William Donaldson, insisted that the way the exchange manages itself should be overhauled before the makeup of its board is changed.

He denied a news report that he was expected to seek the removal of Wall Street chief executives from the board to mitigate potential conflicts of interest.

Interest rates mixed for Treasury bills

WASHINGTON - Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities were mixed in Monday's auction.

The Treasury Department sold $16 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.935 percent, unchanged from the previous week. An additional $16 billion was sold in six-month bills at a rate of 1.005 percent, down from 1.010 percent.

CompUSA to buy Good Guys for $55M

NEW YORK - CompUSA Inc. said Monday that it will buy consumer-electronics chain Good Guys Inc. in a deal valued at about $55.6 million.

CompUSA, a Dallas-based retailer and reseller of technology products and services, said the acquisition fits into its long-term strategy to expand its "merchandise mix to include the latest entertainment technology."

Good Guys, based in Alameda, Calif., has 71 stores throughout California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. It will become a wholly owned subsidiary of CompUSA and will continue to operate under the Good Guys name.

The transaction is expected to close before the end of Good Guys' fiscal year in February.

The deal calls for CompUSA to pay $2.05 a share for Good Guys roughly 27.1 million shares outstanding.

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Morning memo
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Business digest