Corporations & securities brief ~ Marsh & McLennan settles with Spitzer

[JURIST] Leading Monday's corporations and securities law news, Marsh & McLennan Cos. [corporate website], the world's biggest insurance broker, has agreed to pay $850 million to settle charges that the company conspired with insurers to rig bids. Under the agreement with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer [official website], Marsh will fully disclose all forms of compensation to clients and charge only one fee or commission when arranging a policy. Spitzer had accused Marsh of colluding with American International Group Inc. [corporate website] and other insurers to fix prices on October 14, 2004. Since the accusations were levied, Chief Executive Michael Cherkasky has been overhauling Marsh's brokerage practices and corporate governance in a bid to retain clients. Marsh still faces lawsuits filed in other states. Read the Marsh press release. Read the Marsh apology [PDF]. Read the Spitzer press release [PDF]. Read the agreement [PDF]. Reuters has more.

In other news...

  • Silicon Image Inc. [corporate website], maker of semiconductors for high-speed communications, announced the SEC [official website] has launched an investigation into trading of the company's securities by unidentified people. The investigation does not identify the subjects of the probe. Bloomberg has more.

  • SEC Chairman William Donaldson [SEC biography] said he expects European stock exchanges will consolidate, similarly to those in the United States. The comments come after German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse's bid for the London Stock Exchange. Donaldson also praised President Bush's plans to partially privatize the Social Security system. AP has more.

  • According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, the SEC is considering a proposal which would give mutual fund investors a better idea of how much their funds pay to buy and sell securities. CBSMarketWatch has more.

  • MetLife [corporate website] will buy Citigroup's Travelers Life Annuity, and substantially all of Citigroup's international insurance businesses, for $11.5 billion making MetLife the largest individual life insurer in North America based on sales. Read the MetLife press release. The Financial Times has more.

  • Eastman Kodak [corporate website] announced Monday that it would buy pre-press systems supplier Creo [corporate website] of Canada for $980 million in cash. Read the Kodak press release. The Financial Times has more.

  • The European Commission [official website] stated it believes that Microsoft Corp. [corporate website] is not living up to a court order [sanctions text] that it take steps to create a level playing field in computer software by offering a version of Windows without audiovisual software and provide information about protocols so that rival makers of servers can compete. Read more about the ruling [JURIST report, text] against Microsoft. AP has more.
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