Corporations & securities brief ~ SEC considers charges against ex-Lucent executives

[JURIST] In Tuesday's corporations and securities law news, the SEC is considering bringing civil charges against two former executives of Lucent Technologies Inc. and a third unidentified person over violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by allegedly participating in a bribery scheme involving Saudi Arabian officials. AP has more.

In other news, Bank of New York announced the SEC is investigating market-timing trades made by its stock clearing business unit Pershing LLC and the bank's relationship with BNY Hamilton Funds Inc., its mutual fund business. Read the Bank of New York's SEC filing announcing the investigation here. Reuters has more.... As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, the SEC in an open meeting today voted unanimously to seek public comment on whether self-regulatory organizations (SRO's) that govern stock markets should be forced to publicly disclose financial details and the composition of their boards. Additionally, the proposed rule would separate regulatory functions from other business interests. Read the agenda for the open meeting here. Listen to the open meeting in RealPlayer or WindowsMedia here. AP has more.... As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, Merck announced the US Justice Department and the SEC is investigating what the company knew in advance of its recent withdrawal of Vioxx, its popular painkiller. The investigation relates to potential crimes committed by executives in disclosing problems in the drug to investors. Read Merck's SEC filing announcing the investigation here. Forbes has more.... Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. announced that it will lay off 3,000 employees amid fallout from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's bid-rigging probe. Read the Marsh press release announcing the move here. Read Spitzer's complaint against Marsh here [PDF]. AP has more.... As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, the FCC announced state rules will not govern Internet-based calling to encourage providers such as AT&T Corp. and Vonage Holdings Corp. to expand service. Read the FCC press release here [PDF]. Read the statement by FCC Chairman Powell here [PDF]. Bloomberg has more.... The European Union has begun steps toward asking the WTO to condemn US steel tariffs by requesting talks with Washington over antidumping duties that have hit a British steel firm. AP has more.

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