Blockbuster, the nation's No. 1 video retailer, said it will issue $460 million worth of coupons for free rentals to settle class-action lawsuits. Almost two dozen suits accuse the Dallas-based company of charging overpriced late fees and profiting unfairly as a result. Late-fee payers from Jan. 1, 1992 to April 1 this year are eligible for discounts of up to $18 for rentals or purchases at the chain's 7,700 stores. Blockbuster has earned about 19 percent of its $4.2 billion rental income from the fees. In the settlement, Blockbuster did not admit wrongdoing or agree to change its practices.
Bristol-Myers Squibb was poised to win the auction for DuPont's pharmaceuticals business, the Financial Times reported. If the pharmaceuticals giant wins in the hotly contested sale, it will pay $7.5 billion to $8 billion, sources told the Times.
In a new round of corporate layoffs:
* Lucent Technologies was finalizing plans to cut another 5,000 jobs after merger negotiations with French telecommunications giant Alcatel failed last week, the Financial Times reported. Lucent announced earlier that it would lay off 10,000 workers.
* Raytheon Aircraft said it will cut 470 jobs from its Wichita, Kan., assembly plant, which produces twin-engine planes for private business use. It is a division of defense contractor Raytheon Co., which announced separately in April it would cut about 450 salaried jobs.
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor