Burdensome regulations focus of proposed bill

Maine Sen. Angus King teamed up with a Missouri Republican on Tuesday to introduce a bill to create an independent commission charged with identifying outdated, duplicative or burdensome federal regulations.

The Regulatory Improvement Act of 2013 – sponsored by King and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. – would establish a bipartisan commission that would at first focus on regulations within a single sector.

Commission members would be appointed by congressional leaders and the president.

After hearing from the public and stakeholders, the commission would submit a list of recommendations for repealing, consolidating or streamlining specific regulations. Congressional committees would then review the recommendations but could not change them before the report was placed in front of the full House and Senate for consideration.

Shaw’s supermarket closing six New Hampshire stores

Six of the 34 Shaw’s supermarkets in New Hampshire will be closing by Sept. 2.

The owners of Shaw’s and Star Market said while the individual stores have not been profitable for some time, the closings are not a result of the overall health of the two chains and that there are no plans to close additional stores. In New Hampshire, about 450 people work at the stores slated to close, and employees will be offered jobs at other Shaw’s locations when possible, the company said.

The affected New Hampshire stores are in Seabrook, Goffstown, Manchester, Tilton, West Lebanon and Keene. In Keene, customers said Tuesday they weren’t surprised given that several other grocery stores have been built in recent years and Shaw’s had struggled to compete.

Faceboook stock almost hits its initial price for first time

Facebook’s stock came within pennies of its $38 IPO price for the first time since its rocky initial public offering more than a year ago.

Shares of Facebook Inc. rose $2.18, or 6.2 percent, to close at $37.61 on Tuesday. The stock hit $37.96 in afternoon trading.

The world’s biggest online social network has been on a roll since it reported stronger-than-expected earnings on July 24. Investors are especially upbeat about its fast-growing mobile advertising revenue

JPMorgan Chase & Co. to pay $285 million penalty

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will pay $410 million to settle Federal Energy Regulatory Commission allegations that the bank manipulated power markets, enriching itself at the expense of consumers in California and the Midwest from 2010 to 2012.

The bank agreed to pay a U.S. civil penalty of $285 million and return $125 million in ill-gotten profits to electricity ratepayers, according to a FERC order Tuesday. JPMorgan also agreed to give up claims to $262 million worth of disputed payments from California’s grid operator, the state authority said in a separate statement.

The case marks another setback for JPMorgan, which sailed through the 2008 financial crisis without a single quarterly loss. Last year JPMorgan lost more than $6.2 billion from wrong-way derivatives bets placed by traders in London.

Porn studio, Ben & Jerry’s settle trademark suit

So much for “Boston Cream Thigh” and “Peanut Butter D-Cups.”

A Los Angeles pornography studio has agreed to not release products with titles and packaging that take inspiration from Ben & Jerry’s trademark ice cream flavors.

The porn maker Caballero Video, also known as Rodax Distributors Inc., has reached a settlement with Ben & Jerry’s, according to the law firm representing the sweets maker. The porn company will comply with a court order, filed Monday, to not sell products including the 10 titles in its “Ben & Cherry’s” series.

Ben & Jerry’s had said that Caballero didn’t have permission to reference Ben & Jerry’s or its trademarked ice cream flavors, which have names that the filmmakers evidently found to be a creative goldmine.

Ben & Jerry’s flavor names include “Banana Split,” “Cherry Garcia” and “Everything But The … ” – all of which became fodder for X-rated fare in Caballero’s hands. Caballero also used packaging that resembled Ben & Jerry’s well-known clouds and cows imagery.

Denny’s reports results below expectations

Shares of Denny’s Corp. fell Tuesday after the restaurant operator reported second-quarter results that fell below market expectations.

Denny’s said its net income rose to $6.2 million, or 7 cents per share, for the three months ended June 26. That compared with $4.6 million, or 5 cents per share in the 2012 second quarter.

Pfizer to pay $491 million in transplant drug case

The U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday that drug maker Pfizer Inc. will pay almost $491 million to resolve an investigation into illegal marketing of the organ transplant drug Rapamune by a company Pfizer later acquired.

Pfizer, the world’s second-biggest drug maker, had taken a charge to cover the settlement late last year, when it reached a tentative settlement to resolve lawsuits three whistleblowers had filed back in 2005 and 2007. The Justice Department and numerous other government agencies eventually joined in the probe and the lawsuits.

On Tuesday, New York-based Pfizer agreed to pay $257.4 million in civil settlements with federal and state governments and a $157.6 million criminal fine. Pfizer also will forfeit $76 million in assets.

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