Corporations and securities brief ~ Ahold settles with SEC

In Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, the SEC announced a settlement with Dutch retailer Ahold and two of its former executives over charges of fraud and other securities law violations stemming from last year's $850 million accounting scandal at the company's US unit. Read the Ahold press release here. Read the SEC press release announcing the deal here. The SEC also has a litigation release which summarizes the charges and includes the SEC complaints. The Washington Business Journal has more.

In other news, at a meeting today, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, who proposed a new standard by which companies will have to deduct from profits the value of stock options, will delay action on the new rule for six months to allow companies more time to come into compliance. Read the Board meeting handout from today's meeting here [PDF]. Listen to the meeting on Windows Media. AP has more.... The SEC unanimously proposed stricter rules to stop firms from artificially boosting demand for shares in initial public offerings in its open meeting today. Read the agenda of the open meeting here. Listen to the meeting in RealPlayer or Windows Media. Reuters has more.... As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, the European Commission is challenging the German government over a law aimed at preventing any takeover of Volkswagen. Read an EU press release here. The Commission has more on its monitoring of common-market laws. AP has more.... Following up on a story I reported on yesterday on JURIST's Paper Chase, the SEC has launched an informal civil probe into flu vaccine maker Chiron to determine whether the company adequately disclosed manufacturing problems at a British vaccine plant. CNN has more.... Canada's Competition Bureau has approved the merger between Molson Inc. and Adolph Coors Co. which still needs approval from its shareholders. Read more about the merger here. Bloomberg has more.... According to sources, the FCC voted to conditionally approve Cingular Wireless' proposed acquisition of AT&T Wireless Services Inc. Reuters has more.

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